Choteau Idaho - An electrician who miswired kitchen and bath outlets in Tonight Show host David Letterman's sprawling Choteau estate has been sentenced to thirty seconds in the Idaho electric chair. "Leaving the neutral lead on a ground fault interruptor unconnected could have caused a member of the Letterman household to receive a shock or even be electrocuted. "An eye for an eye, a jolt for a jolt, we feel the sentence is fair" said a spokesperson for the celebrity.
Area contractors have reportedly become wary about working on Letterman's mansion after Kelly Frank, a Montana handyman who painted Letterman's garage was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for overcharging the celebrity.
Appearing as an expert witness at Frank's prosecution, fashion maven Martha Stewart described the texture of the Sherwin-Williams paint, the square footage, the type of applicator (a Wagner Power Painter) and concluded, "For a latex-based semi-gloss, this guy either painted his own house on the side, using paint paid for by Letterman, or else grossly overcharged the celebrity. If I deserved prison for insider trading, this guy definitely does for paint theft."
Electrician Wade Phillips said he'd been warned by Frank and other contractors about working for Letterman, but "needed the cash," and agreed to re-wire a disposal and hair dryer outlet "on a cash basis."
The electrician denied sparking a scheme to break into competing evening show host Jay Leno's garage and steal a Ferrari, leaving behind a note saying "Thanks for the Ride! on stationary he had stolen from Letterman's desk. "Hey, I was drunk, it was just bar talk" he insisted throughout the trial. "I don't even know where Leno lives!" "Witnesses pointed to the stack of embossed stationary found at Wade's apartment, including several letters of introduction to Paris Hilton "supposedly" penned by Letterman, on Wade's behalf. "I'd like to introduce you to a real swell guy....been on the show several times....truly electric personality..."
Throughout the trial, Wade maintained that he'd followed the instructions that came with the GCFI device, which is designed to protect residents if an appliance shorts out, or gets submerged in water. Wade, an unlicensed electricial, had previously completed a Tandy "one transistor radio" kit as well as installing an electric garage door opener and insisted he was qualified to install a GCFI.
The 43-year-old contractor, reportedly negotiated a plea deal of "reckless endangerment" and received a sentence of only 30 seconds in the chair, instead of the full 2 minutes typically required to execute a prisoner. Joked one "Green Mile" guard, "Hey, if he'd properly installed a GCFI in here, that chair wouldn't never hurt nobody!"
Charges of boosting satellite TV signals at his residence, income tax evasion as well as lying to code enforcement officials were dropped as part of Wade's plea agreement.
The prosecuter made Wade turn in his tool belt, linesman's pliers and conduit bender. Wade was also ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution for Letterman to have a Master Electricain to come in and properly re-wire the wiring that was improperly wired. He will also be required to attend a DeVry electronics correspondence course after getting out of the chair, "assuming he can walk, that is"
"The sentence was appropriate," the prosecutor told Montana's Great Falls Tribune. "Thirty seconds, thirty thousand volts, we'll see how he does. He may lose all memory of 3rd through 8th grade, but he ought to live, minus his hair."
Letterman, who publicly thanked electrical code-enforcement officials for protecting his family after the electrical fiaso, had this to say about the sentence, "Shocking! Absolutely Shocking!"