A woman accused of making death threats against actress Catherine Zeta-Jones missed a court hearing on Thursday after apparently taking sleeping pills, one day after the star testified she was menaced with being sliced up like "meat on a bone" and fed to dogs.
Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg postponed the hearing until Friday, saying Dawnette Knight, 32, "appears to still feel the effects" of sleeping pills she had taken.
Defense attorney Richard Herman said his client was taken to a hospital after being found sleeping on her jail-cell floor. She was taken back to jail later.
"She just wanted a good night's sleep," said Herman, who added that Knight had bought the pills in jail.
"She just wanted sleeping pills, and these worked real well. Unfortunately, a little too well."
The court hearings are being held to determine whether there is enough evidence to put Zeta-Jones' alleged tormentor on trial. Knight, who is in jail on $US1 million bail, faces 25 charges, including criminal threats and stalking.
Zeta-Jones, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Chicago, and her famous husband, actor Michael Douglas, testified against Knight on Wednesday.
"This has affected me and it will affect me the rest of my life," the Welsh beauty said.
"I felt like a ticking time bomb."
Zeta-Jones read parts of letters containing death threats, including a grim passage threatening to "slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs."
Zeta-Jones testified she was threatened with meeting the same demise as late US president John Kennedy and Nicole Brown Simpson, the murdered ex-wife of former American football star and actor O J Simpson.
Knight has sent Zeta-Jones a letter apologising for "any distress" she had caused, saying she was a "confused young woman infatuated with Michael Douglas."
Copyright AAP 2004