Attorneys rest case in Anna Nicole drug trial

Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:25pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys on Monday rested their cases in the trial of three defendants accused of plying actress Anna Nicole Smith with prescription drugs ahead of her untimely death.

Throughout the nearly 2-month trial, prosecutors have tried to depict Smith's former boyfriend and lawyer, Howard K. Stern, and two of her doctors of using false names to obtain prescription drugs that kept the former Playboy model and reality TV star over-medicated.

But attorneys for Stern and the two doctors, Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor, have worked to discredit the testimony of prosecution witnesses, and the judge in the case on Monday agreed to hear arguments on motions to dismiss or reduce some of the charges.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry told attorneys that closing arguments will begin Thursday morning and are expected to be completed by early next week, allowing the jury to begin deliberations.

Smith, also famous for marrying an 89-year-old oil tycoon, died in February 2007 in Florida from an accidental prescription drug overdose at age 39.

Stern and the doctors are not charged with causing her death. Rather, prosecutors have argued that they unlawfully prescribed and obtained controlled substances that fueled her addiction over a three-year period.

Defense attorneys have said that Smith was not an addict, but was a sufferer of chronic pain since 2000. She also battled anxiety, depression and lack of sleep.

(Editing by Greg McCune)