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Friday, June 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Trial Ordered in Anna Nicole Smith’s Death

(CN) - A Los Angeles judge ordered Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend and two doctors to stand trial on charges of illegally providing the late Playboy playmate with prescription drugs.

After a 13-day preliminary hearing on Smith's final days, Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry ordered Smith's boyfriend and attorney Howard K. Stern, psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich and physician Sandeep Kapoor to stand trial.

"I do find the people have met the test of convincing this court that there is strong suspicion the defendants committed the acts," Perry said.

Smith's bodyguard and Larry Birkhead, the father of Smith's daughter, told Perry that they thought Smith was addicted to a variety of opiates and sedatives, including Valium, methadone, Xanax, Topamax and Soma.

In February 2007, Smith overdosed on a combination of powerful prescription drugs in a Florida hotel room.

Perry said prosecutors presented evidence that there was "an ongoing and widespread effort" to illegally provide Smith with prescription drugs.

"These are very serious violations that will deservedly be heard by a jury," California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said of Perry's order. "This will send a message that the laws regarding prescription drug safety will be vigorously enforced in California."

Prosecutors expect the trial to begin next year.

Stern, Eroshevich and Kapoor face prison if convicted of conspiracy and other felonies.

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