January 26, 2009

Paramedic charged in alleged Travolta plot

A Bahamian ambulance driver has been charged for his alleged role in an unsuccessful plot to extort $25 million from film stars John Travolta and Kelly Preston.

Minister of National Security Tommy Turnquest told Usmagazine.com that Tarino Lightbourne was formally charged Monday with attempting to extort and conspiracy to extort.

The 47-year-old paramedic pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is the second person arrested in connection with the alleged scheme.

Although details regarding what the suspects asked for and what they said they would do if their demands weren't met have not been released, some media reports have claimed the plot somehow was linked to the death of the Travoltas' 16-year-old son, Jett, in the Bahamas earlier this month.

Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater was arrested on charges of abetment to extort and conspiracy to extort. Released Friday on $40,000 bail, Bridgewater has resigned from her office, but insisted she will fight the untrue and unfair charges, Usmagazine.com said.

Bridgewater is expected to be arraigned on the charges Wednesday in Nassau Magistrate's Court, E! News said.

Jett died, reportedly of a seizure, on Jan. 2. He was cremated and his ashes brought to Ocala, Fla., where his family has a home and where a funeral was held for him.