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Bail Hearing Postponed For Alleged Zeta-Jones Stalker

POSTED: 11:17 am PDT October 4, 2004
UPDATED: 11:43 am PDT October 4, 2004

A bail hearing set for Monday was postponed to Oct. 13 for a a 33-year-old woman accused of stalking and threatening actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Dawnette Knight's attorney is expected to ask next week that his client be released on her own recognizance. She is currently jailed on $1 million bail.

At a hearing last Wednesday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Mintz set a Nov. 10 trial date for Knight, who pleaded not guilty to one felony count of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats.

Defense attorney Richard P. Herman told reporters last week that he wants Knight, who has been jailed since June 3, released from jail if she promises to return voluntarily for all court appearances.

"She's been in long enough," Herman said Wednesday. "We all know that she's no threat to anyone. It's real hard to live in L.A. and stalk somebody who lives in Bermuda. So it just doesn't make any sense at all." He described his client as a "very nice, charming young woman" who helped care for her elderly grandmother and worked as a licensed nurse.

"I'm afraid that we've gone much too far with something that is greatly overblown," Herman said last week. "... It is my hope that justice will be done, and I'm confident that, in the end, justice will be done to my client, Dawnette Knight."

On Sept. 15, at the end of a preliminary hearing that was interrupted by an examination that confirmed Knight's mental competency, Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg ruled there was sufficient evidence to send the defendant on to trial.

On July 28, Zeta-Jones testified that letters she received -- describing how she would supposedly die like President John F. Kennedy, Manson Family victim Sharon Tate or O.J. Simpson's ex-wife -- 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."

Actor Michael 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 the Oscar-winning actress 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.

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