Tennis Ref Accused of Coffee Mug Killing

A high-ranking tennis referee has been arrested on suspicion of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee mug

A U.S. Open referee suspected of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee mug will soon head back to Los Angeles to face charges, authorities said.

Lois Ann Goodman, 70, was arrested in a Manhattan hotel Tuesday and is expected to be charged in Los Angeles County, where she lived with her husband Alan Goodman, the district attorney's office there said.

At a court appearance, Goodman waived her right to an extradition hearing, saying she wanted to return to Los Angeles as soon as possible to fight the expected charges.

Goodman's April 17 death at the couple's townhouse in a gated community in the Woodland Hills neighborhood was originally ruled suspicious by police, but investigators could not determine if foul play was involved, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

"Her story was that she came home, she found her husband dead in their bed. There was a lot of blood at the location," Los Angeles Police Department Det. Dave Storaker said. "She surmised that he must have had a heart attack and fallen down the stairs."

But police believed otherwise and focused their investigation on Lois Goodman.

"There are pieces of the mug that were on his scalp,"  Storaker said.

A murder arrest warrant was obtained last week, but Los Angeles police had to seek help serving it from the New York Police Department once detectives realized Goodman was in New York for qualifying rounds of the U.S. Open.

The NYPD arrested Goodman on a felony warrant charging her with her husband's murder.

The cause of Alan Goodman's death was determined by the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner to be assault with a sharp object. Department spokesman Ed Winter called the death a "multiple sharp-force injuries homicide."

Asked if the sharp-object determination negated the coffee-mug bludgeoning allegation, Winter responded: "I don't know. It could have been a coffee mug or -- who knows -- a broken beer bottle."

Lois Goodman, pictured below in an NY Daily News photo as she walked into court Tuesday, was profiled in a 1994 article in the Los Angeles Times in which she spoke about some male professional tennis players' sexist comments and opposition to having a female referee.

"You look at players like Chris Evert and Martina, that's class with a capital C," Goodman said in the Times article. "They are just gracious. With most women we never have any problems because they are more mature."

Prosecutors plan to ask for $1 million, the District Attorney's Office said. Goodman faces life in prison.

Goodman is due back in court Sept. 4.

New York police said they would not release a booking photo.

Contact Us