US murder wife 'too frail to kill'

The top US tennis referee accused of beating her 80-year-old husband to death is too physically frail to have carried out the killing, her lawyer claims.

Lois Ann Goodman has had two knee replacements, a shoulder replacement, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, hearing loss and constant spinal pain and is awaiting another shoulder replacement, Alison Triessl said in court documents.

"It is physically impossible for her to have done this," Ms Triessl said.

She asked the judge to reduce Goodman's 1 million dollar bail to or release her on electronic monitoring.

"Mrs Goodman is not a danger to any person or the community," she said.

Goodman and her husband, Alan, have three daughters and were nearing their 50th wedding anniversary when he was found dead on April 17 at the couple's Los Angeles condominium.

Authorities briefly accepted Lois Goodman's explanation that she returned home to find a blood-covered coffee mug and her husband lying in bed not breathing after most likely falling down the stairs.

Prosecutors now allege that Goodman bludgeoned her husband to death with a coffee cup that broke and then used the sharp handle to stab him. She was arrested last week in New York, where she was to serve as a line judge for this week's US Open - one of many high-profile tournaments she had worked since 1979.

Goodman agreed not to fight extradition and arrived back in California on Thursday.

Ms Triessl gave the court 40 testimonial letters from other tennis umpires, neighbours, family and friends, calling Goodman a beloved friend, colleague, mother and grandmother who treated her husband like a king.