What took so long? Anna Nocole Smith, former Playboy model, turned reality star, died tragically of an accidental overdose of at least nine medications in February 2007. Three of the people in her life, have finally been ordered to stand trial. The charge?
In feeding her addiction to prescription drugs, her boyfriend lawyer Howard K. Stern, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor and psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich stand accused of conspiring to illegally provide her with controlled substances and supplying drugs to an addict.
County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry ruled Friday, October 30 in Los Angelos after a 13-day preliminary hearing, that there was sufficient evidence to try the defendants on charges of conspiring to give Smith sedatives and opiates. Dr. Kapoor and Dr. Eroshevich are charged with prescribing controlled substances to an addict, writing opiate prescriptions in a false name and obtaining opiates by fraud.
Mr. Stern, Anna’s longtime companion and attorney, is charged with illegal prescribing under the theory that he aided and abetted the physicians.A friend of Smith’s, Gina Shelly, said Howard Stern would give Smith handfuls of drugs. “He poured them in her mouth like you would a bird.” All three defendants pleaded not guilty.
If convicted they each could face more than five years in prison. NY Daily News reported that 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.Doctors Kapor and Eroshevich 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.
The sheer number of medications Smith was reported to have taken included Valium, methadone, Xanax, the anti-seizure medication Topamax, the muscle relaxant Soma, the sedative chloral hydrate and Dilaudid, a painkiller also known as “hospital heroin.”
It was alleged during the hearing that while Smith was being weaned off methodone at a rehab hospital, Stern would sneak in extra doses for her.One expert witness testified that there was no legitimate medical reason for Kapoor and Eroshevich to provide Smith the amount of sedatives and painkillers they did.
Although, at one point, the judge pointed out that he was convinced that all three defendants cared deeply for Smith and tried to help her. Is it just me, or with friends like that, who needs enemies?
A Dec. 11 arraignment was set.