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Two life terms in 1988 revenge killing

first_imgPASADENA – Former motorsports promoter Michael Goodwin was sentenced Thursday to two consecutive life prison terms without possibility of parole after declaring in court that he did not murder former partner Mickey Thompson and the racing legend’s wife. “I can’t apologize because I’m not guilty of this crime,” Goodwin, 61, told the judge. He said the 1988 killings of Mickey and Trudy Thompson were “a tragedy.” He added, “The world lost an incredible inventor.” Goodwin offered condolences to Thompson’s sister, Collene Campbell, who had stood before him and declared him an evil killer in a statement asking for the toughest sentence, which the judge imposed. The Thompsons were shot to death while leaving their gated home in the San Gabriel Valley suburb of Bradbury. The killers, who came on bicycles, were never caught. Goodwin was a former business partner of Thompson, a high-profile motorsports figure who pursued land-speed records, drove everything from dragsters to midget cars, and promoted off-road racing. The prosecution said Goodwin sent hit men to kill the couple as revenge for a business deal that went sour and led to a legal judgment of more than $700,000 against Goodwin. After the sentencing, Campbell and Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, an off-road racing champ who credited his career to Thompson, stood outside the courthouse waving black-and-white checkered flags. Earlier, in her statement to the judge, Campbell referred to her nearly 19-year battle to bring the case to a close. “We are proud that, along with law enforcement, we were not intimidated and did not desert our fight to bring justice,” she said, becoming occasionally tearful as she spoke of the victims and the impact of their murders. “Michael Goodwin is a coward and a bully who hired and arranged for shooters to kill Mickey and Trudy, all for his self-indulgence, greed and to accomplish his desired sinful plan,” she said. “There is no doubt that our family has been subjected to evil at its worst by this now-convicted killer,” she said. As she spoke, Goodwin watched from the counsel table but showed no reaction. At the end of Campbell’s speech, Superior Court Judge Terri Schwartz said softly, “Your brother and sister-in-law were lucky to have had you.” Deputy Public Defender Elena Saris argued for a new trial on grounds the judge’s rulings denied Goodwin the chance to put on an adequate defense and that Goodwin’s right to a speedy trial had been denied. Prosecutor Alan Jackson argued that while the case was circumstantial, it was properly presented. The judge agreed on the circumstantial nature of the case but added, “the evidence was overwhelming. … I can say it was the appropriate verdict based on the evidence.” Saris said she would file a notice of appeal, and Goodwin said he would never give up the fight to prove that he did not commit the crime. “I won’t let it go ’til the day I die,” he said. Outside court, Campbell commented, “I just hope that he hurries up and dies.” Prosecutors said the case will remain open until the two shooters are caught.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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