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Woman Arraigned For Stalking Actress

Woman Being Held On $1 Million Bail

A 33-year-old woman has pleaded not guilty to charges that she stalked and threatened actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Dawnette Knight's trial on 25 felony charges is set for Nov. 10 in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

She is due back in court Oct. 4, when her attorney is expected to ask that she be released on her own recognizance.

Knight's bail is currently set at $1 million.

Another judge, Patricia Schnegg, ruled Sept. 15 at the end of a lengthy preliminary hearing that included testimony from Zeta-Jones and her husband, actor Michael Douglas, that there was sufficient evidence to require Knight to stand trial.

Zeta-Jones testified on July 28 that letters she received containing threats to kill her like President John F. Kennedy, Manson Family victim Sharon Tate or O.J. Simpson's ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, left a psychological mark.

"This has affected me and it will affect me the rest of my life," the Wales native testified. "I felt like a ticking time bomb."

Douglas testified that he was "shocked, scared and stunned" after learning that death threats had been made against his wife.

In a letter asking for forgiveness from Zeta-Jones and her father-in-law, Kirk Douglas, Knight wrote that she wanted to "apologize for any distress I have caused you and your families."

"I have never done anyone any harm and would never harm anyone. I was a confused young woman infatuated with Michael Douglas and have no rational explanation for my actions," she wrote.

Criminal proceedings were suspended against Knight on July 30 after defense attorney Richard P. Herman expressed doubt over whether his client could assist in her own defense following a barbiturates overdose in county jail.

Knight was later examined by a court-appointed psychiatrist and found to be mentally competent.

She is accused of one count of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats. CNS-09-29-2004 03:49


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