Three defendants facing charges relating to the death of former reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith are facing a judge Tuesday in Los Angeles, who will decide if there is enough evidence for the three to stand trial.
Psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich, internist Sandeep Kapoor and attorney Howard K. Stern are accused of conspiring to illegally provide Smith with the drugs that led to her fatal overdose at 39 in a Florida hotel room in February of 2007.
As reported previously on RadarOnline.com, the three have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.
During the morning session of Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, Danny Santiago, a Special Agent with the California Department Of Justice, was the first witness to take the stand.
He testified that eleven bottles -- containing 10 different prescriptions-- were found in Smith’s hotel room the day she died.
Santiago testified that some of the drugs were prescribed by Eroshevich. He also said that some of the medications were prescribed in Stern’s name, and that his last name was spelled differently on different bottles – some were spelled “Stern” and on others, “Stearn.”
According to a coroner’s report (March 26, 2007) Smith died of ‘Acute Combined Drug Intoxication’ of Chloral Hydrate and Clonazepam and several other controlled substances. Santiago also testified that Stern said that Smith had suffered a fall a day before she died and hit her head in the bathtub. Stern said she had been feeling ill when she arrived in Miami from the Bahamas.
He says Stern said Smith had the flu, but when a member of the hotel’s staff called a doctor to check Smith out, Stern told the staffer they didn’t want a doctor in fear her condition would be leaked to the media.
Santiago also said that on the morning Smith died, Stern was not with her. He was off to see about buying a boat. She was being looked after by her bodyguard’s wife who attempted to perform CPR when Smith was discovered to be unconscious.
The bodyguard’s wife then called her husband who also attempted to perform CPR, but she did not respond.
The court took a short recess mid-morning, but then resumed with Santiago back on the stand.
RadarOnline.com will keep you up-to-date with all the late breaking developments in this case.