Jury convicts Anna Nicole Smith's psychiatrist, boyfriend

Prosecutors contended during the nine-week trial that the defendants were dazzled by Smith's glamor and filled her demands for prescription drugs to protect their insider status in her personal life and her celebrity world.

The jury deliberated about 58 hours after being asked to decide if the three defendants were trying to relieve Smith's emotional and physical pain or were feeding her addiction to prescription drugs.

The only conviction against Stern was for giving false names and acting by fraud to obtain prescriptions. Eroshevich was also convicted of unlawfully prescribing Vicodin by fraud.

The jury acquitted defendant Dr Sandeep Kapoor of all charges. The jury found the prosecution did not present enough evidence to convict Kapoor of six charges that he provided excessive prescription drugs to Smith.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy, excessive prescribing of opiates and sedatives to an addict, and fraudulently obtaining drugs by using false names.

The defendants were not charged in Smith's 2007 accidental overdose death in Florida.
Stern, 41, had been Smith's lawyer, manager, lover and friend since they met in 2001. Testimony showed they were inseparable, even when she was involved with other men.
In 2006, Smith donned a wedding gown, and she and Stern had a commitment ceremony on a catamaran off the Bahamas. They exchanged rings and vows but were never legally married.

At the heart of the drug case was the question of whether Smith became dependent on opiates and sedatives after being diagnosed and treated for chronic pain syndrome and illnesses including seizures, migraines and spinal pain.

Superior Court Judge Robert Perry told the jury of six women and six men that a doctor who has a good faith belief that a patient is in pain is not guilty of a crime for prescribing controlled substances to relieve suffering.

While presenting their case, prosecutors displayed multiple prescriptions to Smith for heavy painkillers such as Dilaudid, Demarol, Vicodin and Methadone, as well as anti-anxiety drugs and sedatives including Ambien, Xanax, Valium and Chloral Hydrate. In one month, they said, Smith received 1,500 pills.

The judge, however, warned that numbers of pills were not the measure of addiction.
Each defendant faced a possible maximum sentence of four years in prison if convicted of all the charges. They also could lose their professional licenses.

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