The man accused of plotting to kidnap US chat show host David Letterman's 16-month-old son Harry and his nanny plead not guilty to the charges this morning (22MAR05).

KELLY FRANK, 43, faces felony charges of solicitation and theft and a misdemeanour charge of obstruction. The judge ordered him to remain jailed on bail pending his next court appearance on 5 April (05).

Frank, a painter who had been hired do to work on Letterman's ranch in north-central Montana, was arrested last week (ends18MAR05) after an acquaintance told investigators he had planned to kidnap the comedian's son and the child's nanny.

The acquaintance said Frank talked about holding the two for 48 hours in the belief that he could extort $5 million (GBP2.6 million) from Letterman. According to court records, Frank said he had a key to Letterman's house and even knew where the child slept.

Frank's attorney, JIM HUNT, referred to the exchange as a "lighthearted conversation", before adding, "(Frank) has agreed there were discussions about it, but with no purpose of carrying it out."

22/03/2005 22:06