Most convictions thrown out in Anna Nicole Smith drug trial
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge Thursday threw out four of six convictions in the drug trial involving the death of model Anna Nicole Smith, dismissing both charges against Smith's manager and companion, Howard K. Stern.
In a lengthy ruling from the bench, Judge Robert Perry also dismissed two of four convictions against Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, a psychiatrist who was Smith's neighbor. He vacated one of the remaining felony counts against the doctor and reduced a final felony count to a misdemeanor.
The decision brought a surprising end to the long-running and high-profile case.
"I find that the evidence at trial was so lacking and insufficient ... that I do believe the interest of justice supports dismissal of these counts for Mr. Stern," Perry said.
He said it was clear that Stern was only trying to protect Smith's privacy in getting powerful sedatives and benzodiazepines for her under aliases, and that Stern did not realize that such conduct could be a violation of the law.
Perry also said he believed, based on the evidence in the case, that Smith was not an addict under the law.
On the remaining misdemeanor count, Perry sentenced Eroshevich to one year summary probation and a $100 fine. Prosecutors had asked that she be sentenced to five years' felony probation, 300 hours of community sevice and a $5,000 fine.
-- Victoria Kim at L.A. County Superior Court