Defense Rests In Bahamas Travolta Extortion Trial
First Published: October 15, 2009 10:06 PM EDT Credit: JTP Films
NASSAU, Bahamas -- An emergency medical technician involved in attempts to save John Travolta’s teenage son spent most of Thursday on the witness stand explaining why he gave conflicting reports about his role.
Marcus Garvey is the only defense witness that lawyers called in the trial of an ambulance driver and a former senator accused of trying to blackmail the Hollywood actor.
Defense attorneys had hoped Garvey’s testimony would show that Travolta tried to buy a document he signed releasing emergency responders from liability if the family refused an ambulance for 16-year-old Jett Travolta, who died Jan. 2 after suffering a seizure.
Prosecutors contend that former senator Pleasant Bridgewater and ambulancedriver Tarino Lightbourne threatened to use the document to sell stories to the media suggesting Travolta was at fault in his son’s death — unless the movie star paid $25 million.
Garvey only said that an unidentified man offered him money to get the document and that he gave the man Lightbourne’s phone number.
Garvey also denied telling an online celebrity news Web site that he tried to save Jett in the corridor of Travolta’s vacation home on Grand Bahama.
Garvey said he did appear in a videotaped interview but did not want to talk about it.
“I don’t want to answer that,” Garvey told chief prosecutor Bernard Turner. “How much more clear can I be?”
Garvey told jurors Thursday that he never arrived at Travolta’s house, rather drove the ambulance that intercepted another unit transporting Jett to the hospital. Garvey said he examined the teen and found multiple signs that he was already dead.
Travolta signed the release of liability form because he had hoped to fly his son to the U.S. for treatment. But police said the document never came into play because Jett was taken to a local hospital.
Bridgewater has denied the charges and accused Travolta’s attorneys of setting her up.
Defense attorneys, who rested their case Thursday, had planned to call three other witnesses but said they were unavailable.
The judge expected to instruct the jury on Tuesday.
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