Jun 14, 2006 4:19 pm US/Eastern
Doctor Murder Headed To Jury, 12 Years LaterCAMBRIDGE (CBS4) ― More than 12 years after her murder, the family of Stoneham doctor Linda Goudey is hoping to find justice in a courtroom. At the same time, the man they accuse of killing their daughter is hoping to clear his name once and for all.
Nobody was ever criminally charged with Goudey's 1993 murder. But a wrongful death civil suit against her boyfriend is expected to go to a jury Thursday.
Goudey's mother has long blamed Dr. Timothy Stryker for killing her daughter. Her body was found stuffed in the trunk of her car in the parking lot of Stoneham Hospital, where she worked. She had been strangled.
Stryker has always maintained his innocence and was never criminally charged. The civil suit against him was filed in 1996, and just recently reached a courtroom.
Wednesday morning, Dr. Stryker took the stand in his own defense, again maintaining his innocence. He denied ever being violent towards Goudey.
""I never swore at her, cursed at her, slapped her intentionally in anger at her," Stryker testified.
In the trial, Stryker described both of them as busy, intense doctors who sometimes argued. One argument started when Stryker called Goudy a "pea brain."
"She started throwing cups of food at my paintings... I grabbed her behind and she hit the ground."
Linda Goudey's mother says her daughter was involved in a four-year abusive relationship with Stryker, a relationship that culminated in the murder.
It took a decade to bring the civil lawsuit to trial, because of a legal battle over the District Attorney's investigative files. A judge recently ordered the files be turned over, and the ruling was upheld on appeal.
Wednesday, Stryker's defense attorney hinted at the possibility that other people might have a motive to kill Dr. Goudy. She suspected someone from her staff might be embezzling money.
The burden of proof in a wrongful death suit is lower than in a criminal trial. To be found liable for Dr. Goudey's death, a jury must only find that it is "likely" Dr. Stryker was responsible. The proof does not need to be "beyond a reasonable doubt."
If found guilty, Stryker would not face jail time. He would be ordered to pay monetary damages. Also, information revealed in the civil trial could be used in any future criminal prosecution of Dr. Stryker.
Stryker finished his testimony Wednesday. Closing arguments are expected Thursday.
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Dr. Linda Goudey was found murdered in her car in 1993.
Investigators look over Dr. Goudey's car in the parking lot of Stoneham Hospital. (1993)