John Goodman, awaits the retrial of his drunken driving manslaughter conviction, but the billionaire Houston native will get to leave his Palm Beach mansion to visit his ailing mother, a Florida judge decided.
At an emergency hearing last week, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Colbath agreed to allow Goodman to travel to Houston to visit his mother, 85-year-old Harriet Goodman, the Palm Beach Post reported.
She is being treated for cancer at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, according to CultureMap.
The industrialist initially was only approved to take a commercial flight accompanied by four deputies, but Palm Beach sheriff’s officials have allowed him to be escorted aboard a chartered jet. He will be responsible for all travel costs, along with lodging and meal expenses, CultureMap reported.
The 49-year-old polo mogul was convicted in March 2012 of DUI-manslaughter and vehicular homicide, stemming from a hit-and-run automobile collision in 2010. He was driving a Bentley in Wellington, Fla., when he ran a stop sign and struck a car driven by Scott Patrick Wilson, 23.
Goodman left the scene after the collision and did not call 911. Wilson’s Hyundai Sonata plunged into a canal, and he drowned while strapped in his seatbelt. Goodman sustained a broken wrist in the crash.
He was sentenced to 16 years in prison and fined $10,000. Under conditions of his release on bond pending appeal, Goodman agreed to be monitored 24 hours a day with a GPS device, his driver’s license was revoked and he was prohibited from applying for a new passport.
He has remained under house arrest at his Florida mansion. A retrial is scheduled for next year.
The founder of International Polo Club in West Palm Beach, Goodman made headlines in 2011 when he adopted his 42-year-old girlfriend, Heath Ann Hutchins, in a ploy to protect some of his assets from being attached by Wilson’s family, ABC News reported.