Jury questioning begins Monday into the drug conspiracy trial surrounding the death of former Playboy pin-up and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith, and RadarOnline.com has details.
Smith’s attorney and constant companion Howard K. Stern, as well as Dr. Sandeep Kapoor and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich have all pleaded not guilty to conspiring to illegally provide Smith with massive amounts of opiates and sedatives.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry hopes to have a jury selected by Wednesday, and wants to select a suitable panel for the controversial case.
According to reports, questionnaires filled in by prospective jurors show that the majority of them know something about Smith’s life and death from watching television reports about the tragic star.
Judge Perry will not allow testimony about the cause of Smith’s death because it is not part of the charges – none of the three accused were charged in connection with her 2007 death in Florida from an overdose.
The judge conceded that most of the jury knew that Smith had died of an overdose, making a connection to the Michael Jackson case involving Dr. Conrad Murray.
Judge Perry said it was clear the prosecutor would like to try the three defendants on a similar theory but there is no jurisdiction for that in Los Angeles.
Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose made the surprise announcement last week that she will allege that Smith was a co-conspirator in the actions that brought the defendants to trial after Smith’s death.
Rose also said she would claim Stern’s sister, Bonnie Stern, was another uncharged co-conspirator, helping to arrange deliveries of drugs to Smith in the Bahamas.
Judge Perry has already barred several items from evidence including a famous video of Smith wearing clown make-up which prosecutors claimed showed that she was using drugs.
He also ruled that the accidental drug overdose death of her son, Daniel Smith, was irrelevant and should not be involved in the drugs conspiracy trial.