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Tennis Stars, Fans Weigh In On Murder Charge For US Open Referee

Top-Ranked Player Mike Bryan Says Lois Goodman Seemed Like 'Nice Lady'
Lois Goodman appears at her arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on  August 21, 2012. Goodman, a 70-year-old tennis referee, is charged with killing her 82-year-old husband in Los Angeles. (credit: pool photo by Jefferson Siegel)

Lois Goodman appears at her arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on August 21, 2012. Goodman, a 70-year-old tennis referee, is charged with killing her 82-year-old husband in Los Angeles. (credit: pool photo by Jefferson Siegel)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The arrest of an umpire for allegedly killing her husband is what nearly everyone was talking about Wednesday at the US Open.

Celebrity sightings and scandal were served up together during qualifying matches earlier in the day.

Even stars were weighing in on the arrest of Lois Goodman, 70, who prosecutors said used a coffee cup to bludgeon her 80-year-old husband to death. She has been charged with murder and was arraigned in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Mike Bryan who, with his twin brother Bob, is the world’s top-ranked doubles player, knows Goodman.

“It blew my mind. She’s actually been on my court. She seemed like a really nice lady. I don’t know the facts, but it’s always pretty shocking to a lady in cuffs and she’s wearing US Open line judge attire,” Bryan told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin.

The 300 other umpires that work the US Open are following orders not to talk about their colleague.

In her job, which can pay about $200 dollars a day, Goodman mingled with the greats, including Navratilova and McEnroe, Agassi and Sampras.

Goodman once told the Los Angeles Times “I’m out there rubbing shoulders with the best players. There’s no real way to describe it.”

On April 17th, before she came to New York, her husband died in the couple’s Los Angeles area home.

Investigators said she initially told them he fell down the stairs and suffered a heart attack, then prosecutors found sharp force injuries on the body.

Fans of the sport say the case gives them a little something extra to talk about as they jam in to get autographs from the stars.

“I recognized her…she’s been doing matches back when McEnroe and Conners played,” said Manhasset resident Barbara Klein.

“It was shocking — who knows what the real facts are,” said Michael Mammone of Pittsburgh.

As the case plays out, so does the world-famous tournament. The focus will eventually shift away from Goodman, who faces life in prison if convicted.

The next move for her is being returned home to California to face the judge.

Investigators say they know the alleged motive, but will not reveal it until the next court hearing.