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Grieving Travolta drops theft charge

A judge in the Bahamas has dismissed charges against two people accused of trying to extort money from John Travolta.

He made the move after the actor decided he no longer wanted to face the pain of a new trial over the death of his teenage son on the island chain.

Prosecutor Neil Braithwaite had submitted a motion to drop the case just as a retrial was about to start.

"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," Braithwaite told the court after a jury had been picked.

Ambulance driver Tarino Lightbourne and his attorney, politician Pleasant Bridgewater, were accused of threatening to release private information about the January 2009 death of Travolta's 16-year-old son, Jett, at the family vacation home in Grand Bahama.

Lightbourne, who was among the medics who treated Jett, allegedly sought $25m (e19.5m) from the actor with the assistance of Bridgewater.

A judge declared a mistrial in October after a Bahamian lawmaker suggested the still-deliberating jury had acquitted one of the suspects.

Travolta's attorneys said he was prepared to return to the stand if necessary. But the actor said the passage of time had changed his mind.


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