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Posted 8/16/2004 6:49 PM
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Zeta-Jones stalker found competent for trial
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman accused of stalking and threatening actress Catherine Zeta-Jones is mentally fit to stand trial, a court-appointed psychiatrist told the woman's attorney Monday.

Dr. Kal Sharma examined Dawnette Knight, 33, in jail, where she is being held on $1 million bail.

Sharma's written report is pending, said Knight's attorney Richard Herman.

Superior Court Judge John Riley Jr. halted criminal proceedings July 30 and ordered a mental evaluation of Knight after she overdosed on barbiturates while in county jail.

Knight did not attend Monday's hearing but is due back in court Sept. 8.

She was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills apartment. She is charged with one felony count of stalking and 24 felony counts of making criminal threats. If convicted, she could face up to 19 years in state prison.

The charges involved more than two-dozen letters that were mainly sent to Zeta-Jones' husband, actor Michael Douglas.

One gruesome letter stated in a reference to Zeta-Jones: "We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs."

Knight apologized in a letter, claiming she had been in love with Douglas.

Herman has said his client was never a threat and should not have been arrested. He said authorities should have simply profiled and taken note of her.

Herman said if Knight were convicted, she should receive probation and counseling rather than any prison time.


Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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