Bahamas judge denies bail request in Travolta case

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) - A judge refused on Wednesday to lower the bail requirement for an ambulance driver accused of trying to extort $25 million from actor John Travolta following his son's death in the Bahamas.

Tarino Lightbourne, one of the paramedics who tried to revive 16-year-old Jett Travolta, has been held since Jan. 23 on charges of attempted extortion and conspiracy to extort money.

At a hearing in Nassau, the island chain's capital, Magistrate Carolita Bethel said Lightbourne could apply again next month to reduce his $50,000 bail requirement if it still has not been met.

Attorney and former opposition Sen. Pleasant Bridgewater also has been charged with conspiracy in the alleged plot, but she is free on $50,000 bail.

The pair allegedly demanded money in exchange for suppressing a document related to the treatment of the celebrity's son, who died on Jan. 2 after he suffered a seizure at a family vacation home.

According to police, the document would have released emergency responders from liability if the family refused an ambulance. That did not happen in Jett's case, however, they said.

It is unclear why the pair allegedly believed the Travoltas would pay to keep the document from being released.

Another hearing was scheduled for April 16.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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