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A West Virginia woman accused of stalking a Denver-area veterinarian she saw on TV appeared in court Tuesday morning.
Vicki Tenney, 44, allegedly threatened to kill Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, who has been featured in Animal Planet's "Emergency Vets."Tenney was arrested last Christmas after allegedly calling Fitzgerald and telling him she had picked out his casket.Fitzgerald, who works at Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, said the district attorney had asked him not to discuss the case.On Thursday, both the prosecution and defense team agreed to let Tenney undergo a competency evaluation to see if she is mentally fit for a trial.The Rocky Mountain News reported that Tenney's attention at first appeared harmless. She wrote a letter to Fitzgerald in 1999, saying that she was a fan of the show and talked about her cat. Then the substance of letters turned more alarming as she wrote about the afterlife and how she would take Fitgerald to heaven with her, investigators said. She continued to phone and write every day and then in 2000, she moved from West Virginia to Denver, the newspaper reported.
Vicki Tenney walks to court for her arraignment hearing.
Tenney faces felony stalking charges and faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison. She is being held on $50,000 bond.According to an arrest affidavit, Fitzgerald at first decided not to press charges because Tenney's mother flew to Denver, pleading that her daughter was "crazy and sick" and needed help. Her mother promised to take Tenney back to West Virginia. But in 2003, Tenney began calling again from a local number and was seen at a nearby Burger King uttering Fitzgerald's name over and over, according to the affidavit.Then in March 2003, she showed up at the animal hospital and demanded to see Fitzgerald and threatened to "cut him." Her mother, investigators learned, had been dead.
Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald (left) is pictured here with another Animal Planet star, Steve Irwin, also known as the Crocodile Hunter.