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L.A. police capture escapee who stalked Madonna

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    This undated photo provided by the Los Angeles Police Department Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, shows Robert Dewey Hoskins who was convicted a year ago on charges of threatening to kill singer Madonna. Dewey walked away from a Los Angeles-area state mental hospital last week. Los Angeles police say Robert Dewey Hoskins left the state hospital Friday. He had been committed there last year. Hoskins served a 10-year prison sentence for stalking and threatening Madonna after being convicted by a jury in 1996. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Police Department)
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LOS ANGELES >> Police captured a man on Friday who was convicted of threatening to kill Madonna and walked away from a Los Angeles-area mental hospital last week.

Robert Dewey Hoskins was apprehended shortly before 9 a.m. in Long Beach, where authorities believed he might have fled following his escape from the Metropolitan State Hospital in neaby Norwalk, police said in a statement. Initially, Los Angeles police said Hoskins was caught near the hospital where he escaped last Friday.

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.

The singer reluctantly testified against the man, who was shot by her personal security after he jumped the fence of her 25,000-square-foot (2,300 square meter) 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 that 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 Hoskins.

"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.

Upon his release from prison, he also 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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