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LA police capture escapee who stalked Madonna

The Associated Press, Friday, February 10, 2012, 10:29am (PST)
  • LOS ANGELES -- An inmate convicted of stalking Madonna and threatening to slash her throat was captured Friday, a week after police said the "highly psychotic" man walked away from a mental hospital.

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    Robert Dewey Hoskins was taken into custody in Long Beach, where authorities said he may have fled after his escape from the Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk, about eight miles away, police said.

    He had been committed there last year and was returned to the facility after his arrest. Police didn't comment about how Hoskins escaped or where he had been over the past week.

    A message left with a spokeswoman for the California Department of Mental Health was not immediately returned.

    Hoskins, 54, served a 10-year prison sentence for stalking and threatening Madonna after being convicted by a jury in 1996.

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    The singer reluctantly testified against Hoskins, who was shot by her personal security after he jumped the fence of her 25,000-square-foot Hollywood Hills home.

    Hoskins had told the singer's assistants he would either marry Madonna or slash her throat from ear to ear.

    At trial, Madonna said she felt sick to her stomach because she was in the same room as Hoskins and had nightmares about him chasing her. She said she was in Miami when she received a call, hearing that her bodyguard shot him.

    "It was like a bad dream," she said then. "I couldn't believe it was actually happening and he had tried to make his threats a reality."

    A phone message left with Madonna's spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg wasn't immediately returned.

    Police asked for the public's help Thursday in locating Hoskins. They said he is "highly psychotic" and can be extremely violent but didn't elaborate.

    After his release from prison, Hoskins completed a stay at Atascadero State Hospital, where he was determined to be mentally disturbed, police said. He was convicted of vandalism in July 2011 and was eventually placed in the Norwalk facility.

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