Man Accused in Letterman Kidnap Plot Released

Frank was a painter on Letterman's Montana ranch when he was arrested in 2005

By Justin Franz

A man who was accused of plotting to kidnap talk show host David Letterman’s young son and nanny nine years ago was released from a Montana prison Thursday, state corrections officials said.

Kelly A. Frank was heading to Las Vegas, where he will live under the supervision of the Nevada Division of Parole and Probation, according to Montana Department of Corrections spokeswoman Judy Beck.

Letterman spokesman Tom Keaney declined to comment.

Frank was a painter on Letterman’s Montana ranch near the Rocky Mountain Front when he was arrested in March 2005.

Frank told an acquaintance that he had a key to the house and knew where the baby slept, according to prosecutors. Letterman and his then 16-month-old son were not in Montana at the time, but were planning a visit.

The acquaintance told authorities that Frank believed he could extort $5 million from Letterman by holding the boy and his nanny for 48 hours.

Frank’s attorney said at the time the remarks were “lighthearted conversation” and not a serious plan.

He struck a plea deal with prosecutors later that year that dropped the kidnapping charge. He pleaded guilty to theft for overcharging Letterman between $1,000 and $1,500 for the painting work he had done.

He also pleaded guilty to obstruction for misleading an investigator and to possessing illegally killed wildlife when authorities found a poached deer in his home.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and given a concurrent 10-year sentence when his probation was revoked for an unrelated intimidation offense.

In 2007, Frank escaped from the Montana State Prison ranch with another inmate and was apprehended six days later. He was caught after walking across the Mission Mountains barefoot and shirtless.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for escape.

He became eligible for parole in May 2011.

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