Thompson Trial

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This was in today's Register

March 19, 2002
By LARRY WELBORN
The Orange County Register

"Judge rules there's no conflict in DA's Goodwin prosecution

Defense attorney had cited Tony Rackauckas' connections to the sister of slain racing legend Mickey Thompson.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office does not have a conflict of interest that should disqualify it from prosecuting motorcycle-racing promoter Michael Goodwin on a 14-year-old double- murder charge, a Superior Court judge ruled Monday.

Defense attorney Jeffrey S. Benice sought to disqualify the local office from the case because
of ties between District Attorney Tony Rackauckas and Collene Campbell, a San Juan Capistrano councilwoman and the sister of Mickey Thompson, the auto- racing legend who was shot to death, along with his wife, Trudy, in March 1988.

Benice argued that Rackauckas' staff filed murder charges against Goodwin in Orange County even though the murders happened in Los Angeles County because of his association with Campbell.

He said Rackauckas -- while in private practice in the late- 1980s -- worked on a probate case for Campbell involving Thompson's death and that the DA also served as treasurer of a victims-rights group that Campbell formed.

But Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno ruled that those two facts were insufficient evidence of a conflict of interest for Rackauckas.

Benice said he will consider appealing Briseno's decision.

The defense attorney also announced he will challenge whether Orange County has any jurisdiction to prosecute Goodwin because the Thompsons were killed in front of their San Gabriel Valley mansion."





BRAAAAAAAAP!
 

Waldo

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This was in yesterday's paper-

May 1, 2002

The Orange County Register

Michael Goodwin pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from the alleged contract killing of racing legend Mickey Thompson and his wife 14 years ago. Goodwin, 57, a former business partner of Thompson, was ordered to stand trial last month on two counts of murder for his alleged role in the ambush slayings of Thompson and his wife.

Thompson and his wife, Trudy, were gunned down March 16, 1988, as they left their home in Bradbury for their office in Anaheim. Both were shot multiple times by two assailants, who made their getaway on 10-speed bicycles.

Prosecutors allege that Goodwin ordered the killings in retaliation for business dealings with Thompson that went bad. Goodwin, who was once known as the king of indoor Motocross racing, faces a possible sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

Goodwin remains in custody after a judge denied a bid from his attorney to have him released on bail.





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