Tarino Lightbourn pleads not guilty to the alleged scheme in Bahamas

By People Staff
Updated January 26, 2009 05:30 PM
Credit: Splash News Online

Bahamas paramedic Tarino Lightbourn was formally charged Monday in an alleged plot to extort $25 million from John Travolta.

Lightbourn, 47, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempting to extort and conspiracy to extort from Travolta after the death of the actor’s 16-year-old son, Jett, according to Bahamian Magistrate Carolita Bethel.

So far, details of the alleged plot have not been made public. However, prosecutor Bernard Turner says police are looking for a “certain document” and believe they may not find it if Lightbourn is released, according to the Associated Press.

Lightbourn was the first paramedic to arrive on the scene when Jett Travolta had a seizure Jan. 2. The son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston died that morning at a nearby hospital. He remains in custody in Nassau awaiting a Wednesday bond hearing.

Two others were detained in connection with the alleged plot: attorney Pleasant Bridgewater, who resigned from the Bahamian senate as a result of the scandal, was charged with “conspiracy to extort.” Bridgewater has denied the charges and was released on $40,000 bail Friday. She is slated to be arraigned on Wednesday.

Former Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchombe, a close friend of the Travolta family, was arrested Friday and released without being charged.

“Wilchcombe was released pending further investigation,” according to the Acting Commissioner of the Royal Bahamian Police, Reginald Ferguson.