Judge orders trial in Anna Nicole Smith's death
By Alex Dobuzinskis
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California judge on Friday ordered the boyfriend and two doctors of former Playboy model and actress Anna Nicole Smith to stand trial on charges of fueling her addiction to prescription drugs.
Smith, 39, whose life as a fashion model, television star and young wife of an elderly oil billionaire was fodder for tabloids and celebrity magazines, died from a prescription drug overdose in February 2007.
Her longtime boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, is charged with 11 felony counts, including dispensing a controlled substance to an addict and obtaining a prescription for opiates by deceit.
Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor each face six felony counts, including unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance to an addict. All three defendants face charges of conspiracy to commit a crime.
Stern, Eroshevich and Kapoor have pleaded not guilty. They each face more than five years in prison if convicted.
The famously buxom and blond Smith died in Hollywood, Florida, shortly after the birth of her daughter and the death of her adult son, also from a drug overdose.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry's decision on Friday to order Stern, Eroshevich and Kapoor to stand trial follows more than two weeks of often lurid testimony that, in the court's view, established there was sufficient evidence to merit a criminal trial.
Nadine Alexie, a nanny who worked for Smith, told investigators the model slept for three days on some occasions when she took medication and that when Smith finally arose there would be vomit and feces in her bed. Alexie's statements to investigators were read in court at a hearing on Thursday. Continued...