Originally created 10/06/04

Cameras allowed in Zeta-Jones stalker case



LOS ANGELES - A judge agreed Monday that pretrial hearings for a woman accused of stalking actress Catherine Zeta-Jones could be televised - except when the proceedings involve witness testimony.

Attorneys for Zeta-Jones filed a 104-page motion asking the court to bar cameras because they believe media coverage would taint the jury pool and encourage copycat crimes.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department filed a motion asking Judge David Mintz to bar cameras from the trial itself, which is scheduled to start Nov. 10, because some witnesses are undercover detectives. Mintz did not rule on that request Monday.

Dawnette Knight, 33, is charged with one count of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats for allegedly sending threatening and violent letters to actor Michael Douglas, Zeta-Jones' husband. One letter reads: "We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs." If convicted, she could face up to 19 years in prison.

Knight, who was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills home, is being held on $1 million bail.

On Monday, Mintz also postponed a bail review hearing until Oct. 13.