Tennis referee Lois Goodman to be cleared of murder charge, report says

This Aug. 24, 2012 file photo shows Lois Goodman with her attorney, Allison Triessl, left, as her arraignment on murder charges is postponed, in Los Angeles. The tennis referee accused of beating her 80-year-old husband to death has had two knee replacements and a shoulder replacement and couldn't have carried out the killing, her lawyer wrote in a court filing.
AP Photo/Nick Ut, File
Lois Goodman (right), with her attorney, Allison Triessl, in Los Angeles, Aug. 24, 2012.
File, AP Photo/Nick Ut

(CBS) LOS ANGELES - Prosecutors will drop a murder charge against professional tennis referee Lois Ann Goodman in the death of her 80-year-old husband, law enforcement sources reportedly told the Los Angeles Times.

Goodman, 70, is accused of beating her husband of 50 years, Alan Goodman, to death with a coffee cup on April 17 in their Los Angeles area home. She has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Her lawyers have suggested Alan Goodman instead fell down the steps while holding a coffee cup, causing his fatal injuries.

The Los Angeles Times reports that sources, who wished to remain anonymous, said experts told authorities evidence in the case could point to Alan Goodman dying accidentally. They said the investigation will continue even after the murder charge is dropped, although it is not known if charges will be refiled later.

Authorities initially believed Goodman fell down the stairs at home while his wife was away but later decided it was homicide after a mortuary reported suspicious injuries on his head. Lois Goodman was arrested in August just before she was to referee a match at the U.S. Open in New York.

Goodman has a hearing scheduled for Friday morning.

Complete coverage of Lois Goodman on Crimesider