Judge orders trial in Anna Nicole Smith's death

Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:02pm EDT
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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, 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 at age 39.

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 face charges of conspiracy to commit a crime.

Stern, Eroshevich and Kapoor have pleaded not guilty. Each faces 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.   Continued...

<p>Anna Nicole Smith arrives with her lawyer Howard Stern for her hearing at the Supreme Court in Washington, in this February 28, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Chris Kleponis</p>