Former motorsports promoter Michael Goodwin was sentenced Thursday to two consecutive life prison terms without possibility parole after declaring in court that he did not murder former partner Mickey Thompson and the racing legend's wife.
"I can't apologize because I'm not guilty of this crime," Goodwin, 61, told the judge. He said the 1988 killings of Mickey and Trudy Thompson were "a tragedy." He added, "The world lost an incredible inventor."
Goodwin offered condolences to Thompson's sister, Colleen Campbell, who had stood before him and declared him an evil killer in a statement asking for the toughest sentence, which the judge imposed.
The Thompsons were shot to death while leaving their gated home in the Los Angeles suburb of Bradbury. The killers, who came on bicycles, were never caught. Goodwin was a former business partner of Thompson, a high-profile motorsports figure who pursued land-speed records, drove everything from dragsters to midget cars, and promoted off-road racing.
After the sentencing, Campbell and Ivan "Ironman" Stewart, an off-road racing champ who credited his career to Thompson, stood outside the courthouse waving black-and-white checkered flags.
Earlier, in her statement to the judge, Campbell referred to her nearly 19-year battle to bring the case to a close.
"We are proud that, along with law enforcement, we were not intimidated and did not desert our fight to bring justice," she said, becoming occasionally tearful as she spoke of the victims and the impact of their murders.
"Michael Goodwin is a coward and a bully who hired and arranged for shooters to kill Mickey and Trudy, all for his self-indulgence, greed and to accomplish his desired sinful plan," she said.
"There is no doubt that our family has been subjected to evil at its worst by this now-convicted killer," she said.