After four weeks in the courtroom Senior Supreme Court Judge Anita Allen declared a surprise mistrial late Wednesday in the Travolta extortion trial, leaving everyone upset and bewildered.
Judge Anita Allen announced a mistrial due to a jurors misconduct following an announcement from a local politician who stated that former senator Pleasant Bridgewater was acquitted, before the jurors came back with their verdict. Allen ordered a retrial, but it is unclear when the trial will take place.
Pretty much everything that has happened in the last month has been for nothing.
Bridgewater, who resigned as senator of the Progressive Liberal Party in the wake of the scandal, and paramedic Tarino Lightbourn were charged with attempt to extort $25 million from the Travolta's. The demand for money was a blackmail that they would not release information to the press about Travolta's son's death. Jed, Travolta's son, was 16 when he died last January after having a siezure in the families bath in their vacation home on Grand Bahama Island.
If you haven't read the news in the past year it is important to note that Travolta's son was autistic and suffered from seizure disorder every 5 to 10 days. The paramedic claimed to have a document signed by Travolta requesting his son be driven to the airport so he could be treated in Florida rather than the local hospital. Travolta told the jury he did not comprehend what he was signing because "time was of the essence."
In a life or death situation with any loved one, I can only imagine how one can not be thinking clearly on any matters. The only thing on the mind is to get the loved one help and to make him safe.
Lightbourne asked Bridgewater to help his sell the document; showing their attorney Michael McDermott that the document proved that John Travolta intentionally tried to kill his son, or was negligent. The attorney told the pair that blackmailing the Travolta's is a crime and both agreed to go forth with it.
The jury told the judge they were having a hard time reaching a verdict, the judge told them they needed to resolve their differences, but ten minutes later she called a mistrial. This mistrial did not come as a surprise to some audience members who assumed politics had played a major role in this trial--tensions between members of the Progressive Liberal Party, Bridgewater and Travolta's attorney and PLP senator Allyson Maynard-Gibson.
Let's hope the next time the senator and paramedic get what they deserve and everyone else keeps their mouth's closed.