The booking photo of convicted DUI killer John Goodman, taken moments after a Palm Beach County jury found him guilty yesterday, is worth a thousand words.
Within minutes, the 48-year-old multi-millionaire trust-funder went from the gilded life of a Wellington polo club owner to that of an inmate at the county’s main jail — and the bleak prospect has him on suicide watch!
Jail insiders tell me Goodman spent his first night as a prisoner in the medical-based “South 3 A” area of the Gun Club Road jail, an area reserved for high-profile inmates who could harm themselves or get a beat down in general population!
One source who asked not to be named said Goodman is alone in a 15-foot by 10-foot see-through cell — a far cry from his $3 million-, 10,000-square-foot home near his fancy, 100-acre International Polo Club Palm Beach.
Goodman was found guilty of killing 23-year-old engineering graduate Scott Wilson in a DUI car crash in February 2010. He was also found guilty of causing Wilson’s death by walking away from the crash and not calling 911 until an hour later.
Wilson drowned while sitting on the driver’s seat of his car after it was pushed into a canal by Goodman’s Bentley.
Goodman’s cell, meanwhile, is a glass enclosure that allows deputies to see him from a distance.
“He is on 15-minute watch,” said the source. “Obviously, they don’t know if he is going to harm himself. So, a deputy must eyeball him every 15 minutes, just in case.”
During the day, Goodman’s free to come and go into a common area set up in the middle of the plexiglass cells. The tables and chairs are anchored into the ground. There’s a television and an elevated platform from where deputies keep watch.
About 10,000 people wearing suits, sundresses and fancy hats were in the stands.
Goodman, however, is now waiting for his mental evaluation, a routine procedure for new inmates.
“He will receive a mental health evaluation on Monday,” said PBSO spokeswoman Teri Barbera. “He currently is in a protective-custody area for high-profile inmates. We couldn’t put him in general population where someone would want to hurt him.”
Is Goodman getting special treatment?
“He hasn’t been treated differently from any other inmate,” Barbera said.