Thursday, October 28, 2010

Convictions in the Anna Nicole Smith Case

This is press release by LA County DA Steve Cooley's office:

Psychiatrist, lawyer convicted in Anna Nicole Smith case

LOS ANGELES – Anna Nicole Smith’s psychiatrist and her companion, an attorney, were convicted today of conspiracy in connection with obtaining drugs for the reality star and Playboy model before her death in 2007. A third defendant, also a doctor, was acquitted.

The Los Angeles Superior Court jury was in its 13th day of deliberations when it announced it had reached verdicts on most of the charges in the case. It failed to reached verdicts on two counts against the psychiatrist and some of the charges in two of the conspiracy counts. Trial Judge Robert J. Perry declared mistrials on those counts.

“I am pleased that the jury reached guilty verdicts in this case,” said District Attorney Steve Cooley in a written statement.

“This case illustrates the problem of the overuse of prescription medicine in today’s society,” he added. “Medical professionals have a responsibility to ensure that the strict ethical guidelines of their profession are followed in prescribing medicine as part of the care of their patients.”

The jury convicted Khristine Eroshevich, 62, the psychiatrist, and Howard K. Stern, 41, Smith’s companion, of two counts of conspiracy to commit the crimes of obtaining a controlled substance by false name or address, and issuing a prescription that is false or fictitious. The time period covered by the counts was from June 2004 until February 2007 when Smith died in Florida of a drug overdose. The jury failed to reach a consensus on the other allegations in the conspiracy counts, including prescribing, administering and dispensing controlled substances to an addict; unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance; issuing a prescription that is false or fictitious; and violating the state Business and Professions Code.

Eroshevich also was convicted of one count each of obtaining a prescription of opiates by fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, and obtaining a prescription for opiates by giving a false name or address. The jury was evenly split between guilty and not guilty on two additional counts against Eroshevich – unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance and prescribing, administering or dispensing controlled substances to “Anna Nicole Smith, an addict.”

Stern was found not guilty of a third conspiracy count that also named the acquitted doctor, Sandeep Kapoor, 42. In addition, Stern was found not guilty of six additional counts involving obtaining and furnishing drugs for Smith. Besides the conspiracy count, Kapoor was found not guilty of another conspiracy charge and four additional counts involving furnishing the drugs.

Perry scheduled Jan. 6 for a hearing on defense motions for a new trial and sentencing, should those motions not be successful. Prosecutors Renee Rose and David Barkhurst of the Major Narcotics Division are expected to announce whether to seek a new trial on the unresolved charges.

Eroshevich and Stern each face possible maximum terms of at least three years in state prison. They remain free on bond. Kapoor’s bond was exonerated after his acquittal.


Anonymous said...

Betsy it shows how nebulous the laws are that "some" actions to get these types of drugs are illegal but somehow those others---in the same vein and to the same means--- are not. In any event, any convictions of the miserable-beyond-belief-poor-excuse for a human being, Howard K Stern are welcome. I wonder how Virgie Arthur's lawsuit against him will turn out, its not like he has any money at this stage to pay a judgement.

I was surprised that UNTIL the verdict, the LA Times provided nothing on line....or if so, it could not be found under "local News" or crime tabs, I suppose all papers are bare-bones staffing these days,even those that cover entertainment news in the heart of that world-wide profession.
Wes J.

Sprocket said...

Judge Perry hated this case. He made no bones about it on the record.

It's a good guess that he will reduce the sentences of those convicted. He has the right to do that.

I'm not saying this is right, or fair to those convicted...I'm just voicing what I believe will happen.