About 25 people protested Friday outside the courthouse where an Olympia man was sentenced to a year of work release for leading police on a drunken chase through downtown Olympia in his Ferrari last year.
Some of the protesters said they believe that the defendant, Shaun Goodman, who pleaded guilty to DUI and felony eluding in connection with the case, was treated too leniently by the judge and prosecutor in the case.
“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, said Friday.
While Goodman’s case was pending in January, a judge signed an order modifying Goodman’s conditions of release so he could fly out to New Jersey and watch the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.
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Olympia police arrested Goodman at gunpoint the night of Dec. 29, after he crashed his 2000 Ferrari F360 into a parked car and a home at Legion Way and Lybarger Street.
The police chase began about 11 p.m. on Olympia’s west side after an officer noticed the Ferrari driving about 50 mph on Harrison Avenue S.W.
Henry Griffin, a terrified passenger who accepted a ride from Goodman that night, also was at Friday’s protest outside the Thurston County Superior Courthouse. Griffin said Goodman was driving over 100 mph that night, and he escaped the car by jumping out when Goodman slowed through downtown Olympia.
“I thought I was going to die, 100 percent,” Griffin said Friday.
Griffin said Goodman should have gotten a harsher sentence with straight jail time, not work release.
Goodman’s arrest in December was his seventh DUI arrest — although two had been pleaded down to negligent driving convictions, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Schaller said in court this month.
Schaller’s sentence of one year of work release for Goodman was in accordance with an agreed recommendation by Prosecutor James Powers and Goodman’s attorney, Paul Strophy.
During Goodman’s sentencing this month, Strophy noted in court that his client owns a business and employs individuals who rely on him to show up for work in order to make sure the business runs smoothly.
On Goodman’s work release, he can work during the day, but must return at night to sleep at the Thurston County Jail.
Strophy and Powers could not be reached for comment late Friday.