LOS ANGELES (Nov. 22, 2006) — Nearly five years after being arrested for the 1988 murders of racing legend Mickey Thompson, 59, and his wife Trudy, 41, Michael Frank Goodwin is standing trial for the crimes.
Opening arguments in the trial, which is expected to last for at least two months, began Nov. 6 in Los Angeles County's Pasadena Superior Court. The court is in recess this week for the Thanksgiving holiday but will resume hearing testimony from the prosecution Nov. 27.
Mr. Goodwin, a former business partner of Mr. Thompson, was arrested in December 2001 for the double homicide and has been in jail ever since. His trial has been delayed numerous times by legal wrangling including a ruling by the Fourth District Appellate Court that Orange County prosecutors had no jurisdiction in the case.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney took over the case in 2004 and charged Mr. Goodwin with two counts of murder, along with special circumstances of lying in wait and multiple murders.
The Los Angeles District Attorney's office declined to comment on the case. It is seeking a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Mr. Goodwin.
The Thompsons were shot to death March 16, 1988, in the driveway of their Bradbury, Calif., home by two unidentified shooters who fled the scene on bicycles. Mr. Goodwin has long been a suspect in the crimes because he and Mr. Thompson reportedly had a falling out over a business deal.
In the mid-1980s Mr. Goodwin lost a $750,000 Superior Court lawsuit to Mr. Thompson which was upheld, on appeal, by the State Appellate Court. The state Supreme Court refused to hear a second appeal of that verdict by Mr. Goodwin in the lawsuit.