Drug trial over Anna Nicole Smith’s death drawing to a close
In the end, the drug trial surrounding Anna Nicole Smith's death came to revolve around the fame that trailed the late model and Playboy playmate throughout her life.
The hope of landing in their famous patient's inner circle was powerful enough to motivate doctors to whip out their prescription pads and write out orders for huge quantities of highly addictive drugs, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys claimed that were it not for Smith's celebrity, their clients would never have been charged in the first place. Prosecutors, they said, posthumously dragged Smith's name through the mud by portraying her as a helpless addict.
"If Anna Nicole Smith was not a celebrity, Dr. [Sandeep] Kapoor would not be sitting here. If Anna Nicole Smith did not have the notoriety of Anna Nicole Smith, Dr. Kapoor would not be sitting here," attorney Ellyn Garofalo, representing one of the doctors charged in the case, told jurors.
Deputy Dist. Atty. David Barkhurst, on the other hand, said Kapoor's relationship with Smith was "facilitated by his prescription pad."
The two-month criminal trial against Kapoor, who was Smith's primary-care physician, psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich and manager and companion Howard K. Stern came to a close late Friday. The jury is expected to begin deliberating Tuesday.
During the weeklong closing arguments, attorneys pored through the final three tumultuous years of Smith's life, when the three are accused of illegally providing her with a constant stream of drugs. Smith died of a drug overdose in a Florida hotel room. The three are not charged with her death, but with prescribing to an addict and obtaining controlled substances through fraud.
-- Victoria Kim
Photo: Anna Nicole Smith arrives in downtown Los Angeles for her bankruptcy case. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times