|Telecommunications entrepreneur Michael David
Kowitz spent three years taunting his ex-wife and her
mother with crank phone calls and e-mails, a Marin
district attorney's investigator testified Friday.
In a preliminary hearing for Kowitz, 41, of Saratoga,
Michael McBride said the two women found the alleged
harrassment overwhelming. The ex-wife moved from Tiburon
to her parents' home in Jonesboro, Ark., and then took a
job in Connecticut to esape from the threats, McBride
The mother and her husband had alarms and motion
detectors installed at their home. The harassment
escalated in April 2004 at about the time of the
anniversary of Kowitz's divorce from his wife, McBride
said. The couple had been married for 18 months.
Prosecutors said they believe Kowitz used his
telecommunications expertise to change caller
identification numbers and hacked into e-mail addresses
to deceive the two women about the origin of his
messages. At one point, the ex-wife received a phone
call with the caller ID number of the man she was dating
at the time. When she answered the phone, she heard a
recording of a man saying a vulgar epithet repeatedly.
On the same day in April 2004, the mother's telephone
rang at 2 a.m., and the caller ID number registered her
daughter's number. The mother answered the phone and
heard a woman screaming on the other end, McBride said.
The mother called Tiburon police and asked them to make
a welfare check.
Police found the ex-wife at home. She had been
sleeping and had not called her mother.
The mother traveled to the Bay Area shortly afterward
and stayed with her daughter in Tiburon. After they
received a phone call saying they were going to have a
bad accident, the two women secured the ex-wife's
apartment with alarms
themselves with pepper spray.
"They both felt that they were being watched,"
McBride said. "They perceived it as a threat." On April
15, 2004, the women got a temporary restraining order to
keep Kowitz away.
When the mother returned home to Arkansas, the
ex-wife spent a week at the Holiday Inn Express in Mill
Valley because of her fears of Kowitz, McBride
In May 2004, the mother began getting telephone calls
and e-mails from men who were strangers, asking to
arrange sexual liaisons, McBride said. He added that
someone had listed her on an adult Web dating service.
While the ex-wife was visiting her parents in June
2004, they began to get telephone calls from local
funeral homes and hotels. "They felt like they were
going to die," McBride said.
Kowitz was charged in Marin Superior Court in
December 2004 with 12 felony counts and six
misdemeanors, including stalking, identity theft,
unauthorized use or reproduction of data, false
imprisonment, criminal threats and disobeying a court
Proceedings were suspended in March 2005 because of
doubts about Kowitz's mental competency.
In April 2005, Kowitz was found incompetent to stand
trial; in June, he was committed to the state mental
hospital in Napa. He returned to the Marin court system
At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Terrence
Boren will deterimine whether the prosecution has
presented enough evidence to hold Kowitz to stand trial.