Prosecutors finish closing arguments in Anna Nicole Smith drug trial; defense to make its case

By Linda Deutsch, AP
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Anna Nicole Smith prosecutors wrap up arguments

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors have concluded two days of closing arguments in the Anna Nicole Smith drug conspiracy case.

Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose wrapped up more than four hours of closing arguments on Tuesday by listing the name of every drug prescribed to the former Playboy model during the past five years of her life.

Rose is urging jurors to convict Smith’s boyfriend and two of her doctors of providing excessive drugs to an addict and other charges.

Attorneys for Howard K. Stern and Drs. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were to begin their closing arguments later in the day.

The attorneys say their clients are caring people who were trying to rescue Smith from a life of pain.

The defendants have pleaded not guilty.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anna Nicole Smith was surrounded by a circle of enablers — including her boyfriend and two doctors — who supplied her with drugs for years despite her obvious addiction, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.

Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose continued the prosecution’s closing argument for a second day in the drug conspiracy trial of Smith’s lawyer-boyfriend Howard K. Stern and two physicians.

Stern took no action to help Smith withdraw from opiates and sedatives, while Drs. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich continued to prescribe painkillers for the former Playboy model despite signs she was addicted, the prosecutor said.

Rose reminded jurors that in the spring of 2006, Smith was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center while pregnant and trying to stop her use of Methadone and Xanax.

“She’s relied on these medications for so many years. She was in a place that could have helped her,” the prosecutor said. “But after five days, she says, I’m done. This is too hard.”

At that point, Rose said, “she goes back into the environment of enablers, people who don’t want her to get better.”

The three defendants have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide excessive prescription drugs to an addict and other charges. They are not charged in her 2007 accidental overdose death.

Their lawyers have portrayed them as caring people who tried to rescue Smith from a life of pain.

Rose, however, said the defendants wanted to preserve their positions in Smith’s celebrity world.

In the final months of Smith’s life, when Eroshevich flew to the Bahamas with supplies of Methadone and other drugs, Rose said, “She becomes the most important person in (Smith’s) life. that’s important in determining the motivation.”

In closing arguments Monday, another prosecutor said Smith’s ailments were a ruse to get drugs.

Smith experienced physical and emotional pain after the birth of her daughter, Dannielynn, and the death of her son, Daniel, who collapsed and died in her Bahamas hospital room of a drug overdose.

Witnesses have said Smith suffered from chronic pain syndrome, seizures, migraines, spinal pain and fractured ribs, among other illnesses.

Superior Court Judge Robert Perry reminded jurors that someone who seeks drugs primarily to control pain is not an addict.

The three defense lawyers were scheduled to speak after Rose concluded her argument.

will not be displayed