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Fan Gets 2 Years for Letter Threats to Actress

A Michigan man who pleaded guilty to sending threatening letters to actress Stephanie Zimbalist was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to two years in prison.

U.S. District Judge John G. Davies also ordered Michael L. Shields, 42, of Plymouth, Mich., to undergo psychiatric counseling and serve three years of probation. He also must never approach or communicate with 26 people, including the actress and her father, actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. The judge said the two-year sentence was the maximum allowed.

Earlier this year, Shields entered a plea agreement with prosecutors that called for, at most, a one-year prison term. In return, he pleaded guilty to seven counts of sending threatening letters to the 34-year-old actress who starred in the “Remington Steele” television series.

Last week, prosecutors presented evidence from a psychiatrist who said Shields suffers from a personality disorder that may not be treatable. The judge refused to accept the plea agreement.

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