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Posted on Thu, Sep. 09, 2004

Detective: Evidence found in home of accused Zeta-Jones stalker

Associated Press

A sheriff's detective testified Thursday that he found a book autographed by Catherine Zeta-Jones and her husband, Michael Douglas, in the home of a woman charged with stalking Zeta-Jones.

Dawnette Knight, 33, 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 prison.

Detective Dana Duncan's testimony at Thursday's preliminary hearing came a day after a judge ruled Knight was competent to stand trial. Her case had been halted July 30 pending a psychiatric evaluation after she overdosed on barbiturates.

Also Thursday, Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Schnegg denied a defense motion to dismiss the case, ruling there was no evidence prosecutors acted inappropriately as the defense had claimed.

Duncan testified that he took part in the serving of a search warrant on Knight's Beverly Hills apartment where 28 items were seized. Among them, he said, were cell phone bills and a copy of "My Stroke of Luck," written by Douglas' father, fellow actor Kirk Douglas. It was signed by Zeta-Jones and Douglas.

Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta attempted to show that numbers listed on the cell phone bills belonged to Knight, who has pleaded not guilty and is in jail in lieu of $1 million bail. She was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills home.

Archuleta read one letter Knight allegedly wrote to Douglas, which said, "I think you're the sexist man alive. ... Call me, I'd love to show you a good time."

A phone number listed on the letter was the same as one on a cell phone bill at Knight's apartment, Archuleta said.

The charges involve 19 letters that describe harm to Zeta-Jones. One letter said, "We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs."

Other letters suggested the actress would be chopped into pieces "like Sharon Tate was" during the 1969 Manson Family murders and made reference to the violent deaths of President Kennedy and Nicole Brown Simpson.

Still another letter contained an apology and the explanation that the writer was in love with Douglas.

"I've never in my life had anything or had anyone say anything to me so satanic," Zeta-Jones testified at a hearing in July. "I can't even imagine how a sane human being could have these images locked in their brain."

The actress said the letters showed a frightening knowledge about her - including her travel schedule and details about a former apartment.

Outside court on Thursday, Knight's fiance, Ronald Calvin, indicated Knight meant Zeta-Jones and Douglas no harm.

"She's a fan. Movie stars have fans," he said.

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