Pleasant Bridgewater case dismissed
The retrial of former Progressive Liberal Party(PLP)Senator Pleasant Bridgewater this September was anticlimactic.
At John Travolta’s request, Senior Justice Jon Isaacs dismissed attempted extortion charges against Bridgewater and Tarino Lightbourne.
According to the prosecutor, Travolta and wife Kelly Preston no longer wished to pursue an emotionally grueling case stemming from their teenage son’s death.
“The Travolta family has said that this matter has caused them unbelievable stress and pain and they wish to put this whole thing behind them,”said prosecutor Neil Braithwaite.
Lightbourne and Bridgewater had been accused of attempting to blackmail Travolta for$25 million.
Police alleged that Travolta was being threatened with the release of private information about his son Jett Travolta’s death at the family vacation home in Grand Bahama in January 2009.
Lightbourne was the ambulance driver who helped treat Jett. Bridgewater, his attorney, was accused of helping him inthe alleged plot.
After an October 2009 mistrial, a new jury had been convened and proceedings were about to begin before Travolta’s decision to close the case.
“The long-pending status of this matter continued to take a heavy emotional toll on my family, causing us to conclude that it was finally time to put this matter behind us,”Travolta announced in a statement.
“Therefore, after much reflection I concluded that it was in my family’s best interest for me not to voluntarily return to The Bahamas to testify a second time at trial.”
Bridgewater also issued a statement. She said,”Today’s proceedings certainly put an end to what I considered to be the darkest nightmare I have ever had, so I just thank God for allowing me to come through it.
“On January 29, 2009, almost 20 months ago, I resigned from the honorable Senate.
“At that time I declared my innocence, and today I reconfirm my absolute, complete 100 percent innocence.”
Lightbourne’s lawyer, Carlson Shurland, lamented the missed opportunity for anacquital.