Anna Nicole Smith drug trial nears its end

Thu Oct 7, 2010 6:47pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A lawyer for the ex-boyfriend of Anna Nicole Smith lashed out at prosecutors on Thursday for calling her "an out-of-control drug addict," as the trial of three people charged with keeping the former Playboy model loaded up on painkillers neared its end.

Steve Sadow told a Los Angeles Superior Court jury in closing arguments that Howard K. Stern loved her and prosecutors had trivialized the chronic pain she suffered for more seven years.

"He (Stern) lived with it for years. It's time for someone to stand up and say it ain't right," Sadow said, arguing that Stern had relied on the advice of Smith's doctors regarding prescription drugs.

Smith, the fashion model and actress famous for marrying an 89-year-old oil billionaire, died in Florida in 2007 at age 39 from an accidental prescription drug overdose.

Her companion and lawyer Stern, along with two doctors, are not charged with causing her death but with unlawfully prescribing and giving controlled substances to a known addict for three years.

Stern and doctors Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor have pleaded not guilty. They could face more than five years in prison if convicted.

Judge Robert Perry last week threw out two of the charges and criticized prosecutors for being overly aggressive in pursuing the case, which is expected to go to the jury on Friday.


Defense lawyers have disputed prosecutor David Barkhurst's contention that the doctors used their prescription pads to "feed the addiction from which Smith suffered."   Continued...

<p>Defendants Howard K. Stern (L), Dr. Khristine Eroshevich (C) and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor are shown in a combination photo during their arraignment at the Los Angeles County Criminal Courts building in Los Angeles, California, in this May 13, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Pool/Files</p>