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Murder Case Tossed Against Lois Goodman, Tennis Ref Accused Of Killing Husband

Says She Feels 'Wonderful' And Thanks DA's Office For 'Doing The Right Thing'
Tennis referee Lois Goodman appears at her arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court in August (credit:  Jefferson Siegel, Pool)

Tennis referee Lois Goodman appears at her arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court in August (credit: Jefferson Siegel, Pool)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- It was vindication for the US Open tennis judge once accused of murdering her husband with a coffee cup.

Citing insufficient evidence, Los Angeles prosecutors have suddenly dropped a murder case against Lois Goodman in the death of her husband.

“I feel wonderful. I want to thank my family, my attorneys, my friends. The support has been unbelievable and I want to thank the DA’s office for doing the right thing,”  Goodman said.

A judge dismissed the case Friday without prejudice, meaning it could be brought back. Goodman, 70, was accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband, Alan, to death with a coffee cup in April.

“Based upon this information, we are unable to proceed with the case at this time,” said Sandi Gibbons of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

As far as Goodman possibly becoming involved with professional tennis again, the USTA issued the following statement Friday:

“Ms. Goodman’s bi-annual certification eligibility concludes Dec. 31, 2012.  As with any official, Ms. Goodman can re-apply for a two-year certification for 2013-14. If she passes all necessary requirements, she will be re-certified. Once re-certified, she will have the right to apply for an official’s position at the 2013 US Open.”

Authorities initially believed he fell down stairs at home while his wife was away, but later decided it was homicide after a mortuary reported suspicious injuries.

“The story of him falling down the stairs, although it may have occurred, it didn’t fit the evidence at scene,” said the LAPD’s Dave Storaker.

People who live next to the couple’s apartment in California said police knocked on their doors the night of Alan Goodman’s death.

“They asked about arguing, fighting,” Karen Clave said.

Members of the LAPD, working with NYPD officers, made the arrest in August outside the Sheraton Hotel on 7th Avenue in Midtown.

Goodman, who was in New York at the time to be a line judge in the US Open, was led out of a police precinct wearing her referee gear.

The couple was married 50 years and has three grown daughters, who always insisted their mom was innocent, CBS 2′s Chris Wragge reported.

Alison Rogers said her mother was a loving wife not capable of killing her husband.

“They never fought. It was a great relationship,” Rogers said.

Rogers had also questioned the timing of the Big Apple bust.

“She’s been in contact with police. They did not call her, tell her to come in. They waited until she went to New York, maybe to make two headlines,” Rogers said.

Goodman spent two weeks behind bars, before being released on bail. She even joined her daughters at a memorial to grieve her long-time love. Rogers said reports of her mother having an affair are untrue.

The family had sold a car, took out loans and maxed out credit cards to fund her defense.

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(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)