Prosecutors have reached a plea deal with the man accused of plotting to abduct David Letterman’s infant son, allowing him to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for dropping a kidnapping charge .
Kelly Frank pleaded guilty in state District Court to felony theft, misdemeanor obstruction and possessing illegally killed wildlife. In exchange, Teton County Attorney Joe Coble dropped a felony charge of solicitation.
Frank, who worked on the ranch near Choteau in northwestern Montana, was arrested in March after a friend told authorities that Frank had talked of a plan to kidnap Letterman’s 16-month-old son, Harry Joseph.
The informant told authorities that Frank would hold the two for 48 hours in the belief he could extort $5 million ransom from Letterman.
Coble said he agreed to dismiss the solicitation charge because he thought the plea agreement accomplished what he wanted.
“Kelly Frank needed to go to prison. This gets that done,” he said after Monday’s court hearing.
The agreement includes for a 10-year sentence on the theft charge, which accused Frank of overcharging Letterman for painting services. It also calls for a six-month sentence on the obstruction charge and five years on the wildlife possession charge.
The obstruction charge stems from Frank lying to the investigators who originally questioned him about the plot. The wildlife possession charged was filed only Friday and specifics about it were not immediately available.
District Judge Mark Buyske said he would decide whether to accept the plea agreement after reviewing a pre-sentence investigation.
Tom Keaney, spokesman for Letterman’s production company, said Friday that he had not heard about the pending plea agreement.
Harry was born Nov. 3, 2003, to Letterman and his girlfriend, Regina Lasko, and named for the comedian’s late father.