Zeta-Jones Stalker Ordered to Stand Trial in L.A.
Wed Sep 15, 2004 06:49 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A woman whose lawyer claims has only a "girlish crush" on actor Michael Douglas was ordered on Wednesday to stand trial on charges of making death threats against his actress wife Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Patricia Schnegg ruled after a lengthy preliminary hearing that there was sufficient evidence for Dawnette Knight, 33, to stand trial on 25 counts of stalking Zeta-Jones through threatening phone calls and letters.
The preliminary hearing had been suspended for more than a month after Knight in July took a drug overdose in jail and was sent to a psychiatrist to determine whether she was mentally fit for trial.
Zeta-Jones, who won an Oscar for her role in "Chicago," testified in July that she felt terrorized by letters containing chilling threats that she would be killed like Manson-family victim Sharon Tate and President John F. Kennedy.
The letters, which accused Zeta-Jones of being a gold-digger who was having an affair with actor George Clooney, were written over an 18-month period and sent to members of the Douglas family and to their friends.
Knight was arrested after a calling card used to make threatening phone calls was traced back to her Beverly Hills apartment and police ran a background check that turned up a criminal record and fingerprints that matched those on the threatening letters.
Knight's lawyer has described Knight as having a "girlish crush" on Douglas and said that she posed no danger to anyone. She has since apologized for her actions.
A trial date has not yet been set.