The smashed automobile that was the focus of a sensational south Florida manslaughter case involving defendant billionaire John Goodman has wound up in the garage of a Sugar Land businessman.
The Sun-Sentinel reports that the 2007 black Bentley Continental GTC convertible that Goodman was driving when he hit and killed a 23-year-old engineering student was purchased by Ryne Manahan at an auction in July 2013. Manahan told the newspaper he plans to restore the car.
"Nobody will be able to tell it was ever wrecked," he said. "It'll look nice."
Goodman, the heir to a Houston air conditioning empire estimated at $300 million and founder of the International Polo Club Palm Beach, was convicted of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide in the death of Scott Wilson in a 2012 trial that riveted south Florida and much of the nation. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
Last year, a Florida judge ordered a new trial, ruling that one juror's behavior had compromised the fairness of the verdict. Jury selection for the new trial is scheduled to begin in March.
After the first trial, the low-mileage Bentley was released to Goodman's car insurer, The Chubb Corp. It was sold in auction for $27,737 in 2012. Last year, it went on the auction block again, where Manahan, a car enthusiast, bought it online for $11,000.
Manahan told the newspaper he found an envelope addressed to "John Goodman" in the back seat of the car and thought it belonged to the actor with the same name. Palm Beach County attorneys later contacted him to explain the situation.
Goodman's defense attorneys argued that their client cannot receive a fair trial because of the removal of the vehicle, along with Wilson' vehicle, which was also released. Prosecutors say they did nothing wrong and previous inspection reports and analyses of the cars are available. The trial's presiding judge has not ruled on the request.