Tennis referee Lois Goodman appears at her arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012.
LOS ANGELES - Tennis referee Lois Goodman was in New York City for next week's U.S. Open when she was arrested Tuesday for allegedly beating her husband to death with a coffee mug.
Goodman, 70, has been a line judge at the U.S. Open for many years and was scheduled to begin working the tournament's qualifying matches next Tuesday, said tournament spokesman Tim Curry.
Alan Goodman, 80, died on April 12 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 Lois 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.
Investigators were sent to the mortuary where Alan'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, said Los Angeles County coroner's office spokesman Ed Winter.
Police found similar inconsistencies, including an amount of blood that did not suggest a fall, and a broken coffee mug, Storaker said. The death was ruled a homicide and a warrant for Goodman's arrest was issued Aug. 14.
Storaker declined to discuss a possible motive.
"We don't want to taint anything by releasing that," Storaker said. "We know they were together at several locations during that day and would like to talk to people who saw them."
Goodman appeared in Manhattan Criminal Court late Tuesday, where she agreed to waive an extradition hearing so she could be returned quickly to Los Angeles to face charges.
If convicted, Goodman could be sentenced to life in prison. It was not clear when she would be returned to Los Angeles. Prosecutors said they would ask for $1 million bail.
Goodman was profiled by the Los Angeles Times in 1994 and was described as an avid tennis fan who got the chance to be a referee. 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.