Ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne is accused of trying to extort $25 million from the actor over a document Travolta signed the day his 16-year-old son, Jett, died. Lightbourne's lawyer, former Bahamas senator Pleasant Bridgewater, is also charged for allegedly trying to negotiate the payment with Travolta and his lawyer.
The document would have released emergency responders, including Lightbourne, from responsibility if Travolta refused an ambulance ride for Jett. Travolta originally wanted his son, who suffered a fatal seizure at the family's Bahamas vacation home Jan. 2, to be flown directly to Florida for treatment. However, Jett was later taken to the local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Defense lawyers argued Wednesday that Lightbourne and Bridgewater were set up by lawyers for Travolta and that authorities had misinterpreted what they said was a straightforward business transaction, the AP reported.
During the trial, Travolta testified that Lightbourne had threatened to sell stories that hinted Travolta was to blame for his son's death.
The case against Lightbourne and Bridgewater has attracted media attention from the beginning, and not just because of Travolta's fame. During the trial, Travolta publicly acknowledged for the first time that his son was autistic and suffered seizures every 5 to 10 days.
Lightbourne and Bridgewater have pleaded not guilty and face up to five years in prison each.