“My trial was rigged and I now have the evidence to prove it,” says Michael Goodwin, the
creator of the sport of Supercross, convicted in 2007 of the 1988 murders of racing
legend Mickey Thompson and his wife. “The prosecutors could not connect me to the
murders because I had nothing to do with them,” Goodwin said in a recent interview.
“I had to fight for more than six years to get enough of the trial record, discovery and other
evidence from the district attorney’s office so I could file my appeal and I still don’t have
all that we are entitled to, by law,” Goodwin added. “My initial appeal was rejected
because it was too many words,” he said incredulously. “It was more than 1000 words
and my appellate attorney had to reduce it to 467 words so the Attorney General would
accept it. That’s still nearly twice as large as normally allowed.”


Goodwin says that he’s documented hundreds of instances of perjury by witnesses, law
enforcement, and even has evidence, he says, supported by public records from a federal
trial, of the prosecutors in his murder trial blatantly lying to the judge and jury.
Patrick Dixon, lead prosecutor in Goodwin’s trial, mysteriously left the D.A.’s office after
more than 30 years and has gone into private practice. Dixon was the top prosecutor in
the D.A.’s office, as Head of Special Trials, second only to Steve Cooley, Los Angeles
District Attorney, at the time of Goodwin’s trial. Alan Jackson, named “Prosecutor of the
Year,” in 2010 based in part on Goodwin’s trial, also puzzlingly left the D.A.’s office after
soundly losing an election for Los Angeles District Attorney in 2012.


When asked about his statement on a rigged trial, Goodwin expanded, “First, take just the
trial judge’s influence on the verdict; many people aren’t aware that the judge in my trial,
Judge Teri Schwartz, worked in the D.A.’s office with the lead prosecutor, Pat Dixon,
before she took a seat on the Superior Court bench. If you were at the trial, you could
sure tell, though,” Goodwin went on. “Even the media noticed. There was mention of the
judge’s obvious bias in the L.A. and Orange County press.”


“Secondly,” Goodwin continued, “her jury instructions were preposterous; I should be
released just based on those bogus instructions alone,” he said. “After the verdict, the
jury foreman stated that those instructions sent him and the jury in the direction of
conviction. Had Judge Schwartz not ruled against the jury hearing all the evidence of a
robbery, and about the other real suspects, then the judge gave the jury false instructions
that the jury need not connect me to the murders, they would not have been faced with, in
the jury foreman’s own words, ‘If not Goodwin, then who else could have done this?’
Hey, other suspects was our whole defense because there was so much evidence and
the judge just blew it off!’” Goodwin was categorical, “there’s plenty of evidence of
robbery and even more on other suspects. You do the math,” he said, smiling.


Goodwin summed up, “OK, third; at the time the case was dismissed in Orange Country,
Pat Dixon told us he’d been reviewing the case for many months and didn’t see enough
evidence to file; two of our attorneys talked to him directly on this after an appellate court
had dismissed the case. Then, out of the blue, when I was within 24 hours of being
released from the Orange County Jail, the L.A. District Attorney’s office, not Pat Dixon,
announces that L.A. was filing charges. They cited some phony evidence that had been
around for years as ‘new’ evidence.” Goodwin was expansive, “Just how did that
happen? So, once committed, what are they going to do?” Goodwin threw up his
hands. “These guys both had reputations, like decades in the D.A.’s office, big time
careers, and they’re faced with a high profile case that’s so weak on evidence that the top
prosecutor in the D.A.’s office and lead prosecutor in the trial, didn’t want to file. What do
they have to do? Anything to convict, obviously!”


“Fourth,” he held up 4 fingers, “Jackson, the second chair prosecutor, did the ‘heavy
lifting’ on the ‘anything’ part,” Goodwin said, “They had to ask themselves how in the heck
can we convict on such flimsy evidence? So the lead detective, Marc Lillienfeld of the
L.A. Sherriff’s Department, came up with their answer. Voilá! Lillienfeld magically
produced all this ‘new’ evidence that hadn’t existed for 18 years! Trouble is, I can
document that most of it was false, manufactured by Lillienfeld. Flat out! There’s no
question about that!” Goodwin was emphatic. “Rigged?” he asked, “Yeah, rigged!
They had to get a conviction, regardless of what the real evidence pointed to.” Goodwin
added, “We’ve got so much evidence of their malfeasance that, if the 2nd District
Appellate Court orders a new trial, there’s no way the L.A.D.A. can possibly undo all of it
and the two prosecutors responsible, Dixon and Jackson, aren’t at the D.A.’s office
anymore to defend it.” Goodwin added, parenthetically, with a wry smile, “I wonder why
they both left after all those years of prosecuting? Go figure!”


“One more thing, number five, but that isn’t all that points to a wrongful conviction,”
Goodwin said as we were leaving the R.J.Donovan Correctional Facility, where he’s now
housed, serving two life terms without parole, “There’s that bogus $1 million
reward? How much of a role do you think that played in this conviction? There are cases
where a two thousand dollar reward changed critical testimony in murder trials and led to
conviction. And, in this trial there was one million dollars hanging in the balance. Can we
say that a million dollar reward had no effect on that trial?” Goodwin smiled, and, again,
parenthetically, “I wonder how much of that was ever paid?”


Rigged?” he said, “Yeah, rigged! When the public sees the massive, documented
evidence we’ve got in the appeal and in the habeas writ that we’re prepared to file in the
highly unlikely event the Appellate Court upholds the conviction, there’ll be some heads
turned, like in the movie ‘The Exorcist,’ and there’ll be no question but that the
trial was rigged, an extreme example of my wrongful conviction, big time! The City of L.A.
convicted an innocent man and I’ve been in prison for 13 years!” Goodwin said, sadly.