CRIME

Shaun Goodman, Wealthy Man With 7th DUI Arrest, Gets Light Sentence

05/19/2014 03:20 pm ET | Updated May 19, 2014

A Washington State man who led police on a high-speed chase during his seventh DUI arrest was sentenced to just one year of work release.

Joshua Shaun Goodman, 42, was arrested last December after driving 100 mph through downtown Olympia, where he crashed into two cars and a house before police were able to apprehend him with their guns drawn, KOMO News reported.

Goodman was sentenced last week to one year of work release, which allows him to spend his days freely before returning to a Thurston County Jail to sleep. Goodman pleaded guilty to felony eluding of an officer and driving under the influence.

Last Friday, demonstrators gathered at the courthouse where Goodman was sentenced to protest what they called a slap on the wrist. The protestors claim that Goodman -- who was driving a Ferrari valued at $70,000 the night of his crash and arrest -- was given special treatment because he is wealthy.

“It’s not fair that there’s a two-tiered legal system, one for those with money and another for those without,” Sam Miller, one of the organizers of the protest, told the Seattle Times.

In a police report obtained by the News Tribune, the night of Goodman's arrest, he had been drinking heavily at a bar before driving. While there, Goodman met 27-year-old Henry Griffin, who later told police that the felon was "flashing some big wads of cash and buying people drinks at the bar."

After meeting, Goodman said he would give Griffin a ride to another bar. That's when Goodman decided to hit speeds up to 100 mph, with Griffin terrified for his life in the passenger seat.

"I've never felt the actual feeling of 'hey you're probably going to die,' " Griffin told Komo News.

Griffin bailed out of the car while it was still moving to escape Goodman, suffering cuts.

“I was just begging him ‘please, please, I have a son,’” Griffin told the Blaze.

Griffin was present at last Friday's protest, arguing that Goodman's standing in the community got him off the hook for his dangerous driving.

"There are people who are less fortunate that get the shaft more, you know what I mean?" Griffin said. "I just think that that's wrong."

Goodman was found to have a blood alcohol content of .16 at the time of his arrest, twice the legal limit. According to Washington Courts, anyone with a BAC above .15 with two or more prior offenses, must face mandatory jail time of 120 days.

However, Judge Christine Schaller gave Goodman a year of work release. Defense attorney Paul Strophy argued that Goodman's business would fail and his client's employees would be out of a job if Goodman wasn't present for work.

According to Washington Courts' DUI Sentencing Grid, the minimum sentence of 120 days in jail can be overturned only if the sentence "would impose a substantial risk to the offender's physical or mental well-being."

Goodman's case previously gained media attention in January. Judge James Dixon allowed the criminal to attend the Super Bowl in New York City, despite previously denying Goodman's request to attend a soccer competition in Nevada.

“I would be doing not only this community, but also you a disservice if I allowed you to go to the state of Nevada,” Dixon said to Goodman at the time. “You are not to leave the state of Washington.”

Yet when Strophy filed a court petition saying that his client had a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see his hometown team play in the Super Bowl," Dixon granted the request.

Prosecutor Jim Powers said Goodman's wealth didn't sway the sentencing and that the work release could help Goodman stay sober.

"Kind of an incentive for him to adopt a stable and sober lifestyle at that point," Powers said.

The protestors disagree.

"I think anyone who's extremely wealthy might be getting away with something when they're dealing with the legal system," Miller said.

For Griffin, it's all about getting Goodman off the roads for good.

“I thought I was going to die, 100 percent,” he said.

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