- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As an umpire for decades on some of tennis’s biggest stages, Lois Goodman mixed it up with John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova, Roger Federer and the Williams sisters.

Already in New York City for next week’s U.S. Open, where she was to serve as a line judge, the 70-year-old Goodman was met Tuesday with a felony arrest warrant from her hometown of Los Angeles, where police and prosecutors say she beat her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee mug in April.

Goodman has been a line judge at the U.S. Open for many years and was scheduled to work at this year’s tournament, which begins Monday, and was about to begin working the tournament’s qualifying matches on Tuesday, said tournament spokesman Tim Curry, who had no further comment.

In 1994, when Goodman already had been officiating for 15 years, she was profiled by the Los Angeles Times and was described as an avid tennis fan who got the chance to be a referee.

“It’s exciting,” Goodman said at the time. “This is my favorite spot and I’m out there rubbing shoulders with the best players. There’s no real way to describe it.”

Goodman said the job was worth the paltry pay, the dirty looks from McEnroe and the verbal assaults from players like Andre Agassi.

“You just can’t let anything bother you,” Goodman said. “And you can’t take anything personally. If you do, you’re in big trouble.”

The profile said Goodman and her husband, Alan Goodman, had owned a Southern California auto parts business since the early 1960s and had three daughters.

Alan Goodman would die on April 12 of this year at the couple’s condominium in the Woodland Hills neighborhood.

Lois Goodman told police it appeared to have been an accident and she had been out all day refereeing a tennis match, said Lt. David Storaker of the Los Angeles Police Department.

When Goodman found her husband unresponsive in bed, “she said she surmised he had fallen down the steps, had a heart attack and managed to get back upstairs to the bed,” Storaker said.

“It was a suspicious death from the beginning,” he added.

Ed Winter, a Los Angeles County coroner’s office spokesman, said investigators were sent to the mortuary where Alan Goodman’s body was taken, and they noticed that he had multiple sharp force injuries on and around his head that were inconsistent with Lois Goodman’s explanation.

Police found similar inconsistencies, including an amount of blood that did not suggest a fall and a broken coffee mug, Storaker said, and working with coroner’s investigators ruled the death a homicide and presented their conclusions to the district attorney’s office. A warrant for Goodman’s arrest was issued Aug. 14.

Storaker declined to discuss a possible motive.

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