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  March 01, 2005

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Zeta-Jones Stalker Cops Plea

by Charlie Amter
Feb 25, 2005, 5:15 PM PT

The woman who once vowed to slice Catherine Zeta-Jones "up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs" is going to be logging some quality time in a state lockup.

Dawnette Knight pleaded no context Friday to stalking and threatening the Oscar-winning Chicago star.

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Knight, 33, will spend the next 90 days in a California prison for evaluation. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Mintz wants Knight to undergo psychiatric testing to determine whether the woman should be given probation or up to five years behind bars at a sentencing hearing on June 3--exactly a year after she was first arrested.

The woman was collared by police after directing a slew of phone calls and letters at the Welsh-born star and her family over two years, promising to "chop [Zeta-Jones] away like Manson did." Knight even tracked down Zeta-Jones when she was on location in Amsterdam filming Ocean's Twelve.

Zeta-Jones testified last year that she was terrified by Knight. The woman's phone call to Zeta-Jones' Amsterdam hotel "affected me and it will affect me the rest of my life...It felt like a ticking time bomb," the actress told the court.

Knight, who reportedly harbored a Fatal Attraction-like obsession to Zeta-Jones' husband, Michael Douglas, was initially charged with one felony count of stalking along with 24 felony counts of making criminal threats, but 21 of those counts were eventually dismissed.

Knight pleaded innocent to the charges last September and wrote a letter to Zeta-Jones and Douglas apologizing for her actions. Knight's lawyer, Richard Herman, said he always "believed that Dawnette Knight is not a threat to anyone in the past, now or in the future."

But Knight proved to be something of a threat to herself, attempting to commit suicide while in jail on $1 million bond awaiting a court date last year. She was eventually found sane enough to continue with the hearings.

Now, state-appointed psychiatrists will again evaluate her over the coming days to determine whether she's fit to serve time in prison or would be better served with an extended probation. Their findings will be released to the judge in time for the June sentencing.

In any case, Mintz said he will extend a restraining order blocking Knight from coming into contact with Zeta-Jones for another 10 years.

There was no immediate comment Friday from Herman, who was said to be suffering from the flu and went home immediately following the hearing, or from Zeta-Jones' publicist, CeCe Yorke.

 Related Links
News: Judge disses Zeta-Jones fanatic
News: Zeta-Jones zealot pleads innocent
News: Zeta-Jones stalker ruled sane

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