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THE REGION

Execution Not Seen in 2 Slayings

January 26, 2002|STUART PFEIFER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Orange County district attorney's office won't seek the death penalty against a man accused of masterminding the ambush-style slaying of racing legend Mickey Thompson, a prosecutor disclosed Friday.

Michael Goodwin's age, 56, and lack of prior criminal history were key factors in deciding not to pursue his execution, Deputy Dist. Atty. David Brent said.

"This was a heinous crime, but it takes more than that," the prosecutor said. "He's still facing life without parole. It's a significant punishment."

Thompson and his wife were slain outside their home in the upscale San Gabriel Valley community of Bradbury. Although Goodwin was long a suspect, the case remained unsolved for more than a decade. Last month, prosecutors filed murder charges. Goodwin has long maintained his innocence.

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