Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry threw out two charges against Howard K. Stern, the former lawyer and boyfriend of the late Anna Nicole Smith. First to be thrown out the courtroom door is the case for obtaining drugs for Smith by fraud and deceit, and the second one to be dismissed is a part of one conspiracy claim against Stern and Smith’s doctor, Sandeep Kapoor. Judge Perry said there was not enough proof the two men had worked together to obtain drugs.
However, the remainder of the eleven other complaints against Stern, Kapoor and a second doctor, Khristine Eroschevich, will stand.
It will be recalled that Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental drug overdose in February 2007 in Florida, and California prosecutors have charged Stern and the two doctors with conspiring to give drugs to a known addict. They were not charged directly with her death.
All three accused have pleaded not guilty in the trial, which began in early August. Meanwhile, attorneys are set to begin closing arguments on Monday after two days of hearings over whether the case should be dismissed for lack of evidence.
Early on, the judge said many of the charges should have been low-level misdemeanors as opposed to the felonies that were charged, which carry greater penalties.