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U.S. Open ref: I was scapegoat in husband's death

Tennis umpire Lois Goodman looks on during a

Tennis umpire Lois Goodman looks on during a hearing in a Van Nuys, Calif., courtroom where she pleaded not guilty in the death of her husband. (Aug. 29, 2012) Credit: AP

The U.S. Open referee accused of killing her husband said the only reason she was charged in his violent death was because investigators had no real suspect in their case.

Speaking on NBC's "Today" show Monday for the first time since California prosecutors dropped her murder charges Friday, Lois Goodman, 70, said she became a scapegoat when investigators were having trouble solving the case.

"I don't think they had anybody else to blame, so they came after me," she said.

In February, officers found Alan Goodman, 80, dead from blunt force trauma but didn't rule it a homicide. Lois Goodman, who was married to her spouse for 50 years, said she found the body.

In August, NYPD officers arrested the tennis referee, who was in Manhattan preparing for the U.S. Open, and brought her back to Los Angeles after investigators said she bludgeoned him with a coffee mug.

Lois Goodman maintained her innocence and her children backed up her claims that she would never hurt her husband. Goodman passed a lie-detector test and prosecutors then dropped the case because of insufficient evidence.

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