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Sheriff: Accused Jewel stalker says God led him

The Associated Press, Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 12:19pm (PDT)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A Wisconsin man accused of stalking singer-songwriter Jewel at her rural Texas ranch said he was on a mission from God, the Erath County sheriff said Tuesday.

Michael Lawrance Kozelka was arrested last week after he went two consecutive days to the 2,000-acre Stephenville ranch owned by Jewel's husband, rodeo champion Ty Murray, said Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant.

After Kozelka was found on the ranch Sept. 14, the landowner warned him not to return, Bryant said. But on Sept. 15 Kozelka was found at the main house with a pocket knife in his clothing and a dog with him, although he did not resist arrest after deputies were called, Bryant said.

"He was not aggressive and was not mad," Bryant told The Associated Press on Tuesday. "He just said he was on a mission from God, that God told him to come to Stephenville and led him to this ranch."

Bryant declined to say what Kozelka may have said about Jewel or her husband, and it's unclear if either was home at the time.

Kozelka was charged with stalking, a felony that carries a maximum 10-year jail sentence, according to jail records.

He has been jailed in Stephenville, about 75 miles southwest of Fort Worth, on $30,000 bond since his arrest.

His attorney, Michael Nicholls Pugh, declined to comment Tuesday, saying he was appointed to the case that afternoon and had not yet talked to Kozelka.

Attempts to reach Murray, a nine-time world champion rodeo cowboy and past president of Professional Bull Riders, were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Bryant said the couple were concerned about publicity over the incident, and county officials declined to release the arrest report — which included Kozelka's hometown — or other documents in the case without a request under the Texas Public Information Act.

The couple have lived quietly for years on the ranch near the dairy community of Stephenville. Jewel, who was born Jewel Kilcher, is working on a second country album — the first, "Perfectly Clear," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's charts last year — as well as a second book of poetry.

In the spring the couple joined the cast of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars," but injuries during training forced Jewel to drop out before the competition began.

More on Wonderwall:

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