Search Thursday, September 16, 2004

Detective: Three death threats made to Zeta-Jones in hotel

Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES -- Telephone bills show a woman accused of stalking Catherine Zeta-Jones made death threats to a hotel where the actress was staying, a detective testified.

Dawnette Knight was linked to calls on May 18 and 19 during which a hotel receptionist was warned: "We know she is in the hotel. We are going to kill her. She does not (expletive) around with Michael Douglas," according to Friday's testimony.

In a May 21 message, a caller threatened to "blow Catherine's head off on Sunday in Monte Carlo," Los Angeles County sheriff's Detective Rodney Wagner testified.

Knight, 33, was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills home and has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of stalking and 24 felony counts of making criminal threats. She could face up to 19 years in state prison if convicted.

A judge is holding a preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for her to stand trial.

The charges involve phone calls and 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."

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

Most of the letters were sent to actor Douglas, Zeta-Jones' husband. One letter included an apology and the explanation that the writer was in love with Douglas.

Meanwhile, the judge in the case said Knight is being monitored because of anonymous calls to the jail warning she may try to kill herself.

Knight's attorney, Richard Herman, said she was on suicide watch.

He said his client was not suicidal, although last month Herman said he believed she had tried to kill herself in July with an overdose of barbiturates.

In a ruling Wednesday, Knight was found competent to stand trial. Her case had been halted July 30 pending a psychiatric evaluation after the overdose.

Last modified: September 11. 2004 3:01AM

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