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U.S. Open referee charged with slaying husband

LOS ANGELES -- A professional tennis referee from Los Angeles who for years has officiated matches between the game's top players was arrested Tuesday in New York City on a felony warrant charging her with killing her elderly husband in April.

Prosecutors said Lois Ann Goodman, 70, a longtime line judge on the tennis circuit, was taken into custody as she prepared to work at the U.S. Open tournament, which begins Monday at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens.

She was charged with murdering her husband, Alan Goodman, 80, in their home in Woodland Hills, Calif. Prosecutors allege she bludgeoned him to death with a coffee mug on April 17.

When the death was reported, Lois Goodman told police it appeared to have been an accident and she had been out all day refereeing a tennis match, according to 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," he said.

But "we noticed that his injuries were inconsistent with a fall," said Ed Winter, a Los Angeles County coroner's office spokesman. "The autopsy revealed he had multiple sharp force injuries about the head."

Winter said it was eventually ruled a homicide and presented to the district attorney's office. A warrant for her arrest was issued on Aug. 14.

Goodman appeared late Tuesday in Manhattan Criminal Court, where she agreed to waive an extradition hearing so she could be returned quickly to Los Angeles.

Tournament spokesman Tim Curry said Goodman has been a line judge at the U.S. Open for many years and was scheduled to work at this year's tournament in addition to its qualifying matches, which started Tuesday. Curry would give no further comment. -- AP

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