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Defendants Accused Of Drugging Anna Nicole Smith Expected to Plead Not Guilty Friday

Dec. 11 2009, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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Three close associates of the late Anna Nicole Smith – her former lover/attorney Howard K. Stern, psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich and internist Sandeep Kapoor – are all expected to plead not guilty to several felony charges during  their arraignment in a Los Angeles courtroom Friday morning.

As has previously reported, the three defendants are accused of conspiring to illegally provide the reality TV star with sedatives and opiates which led to her death nearly two years ago.

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Stern and Kapoor, both 40, and Eroshevich, 61, each were charged with eight felonies, including conspiring to furnish controlled substances, unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance and obtaining fraudulent prescriptions from June 2004 to January 2007 -- only weeks before Smith's death.

Kapoor and Eroshevich also were each charged with obtaining a prescription for opiates by "fraud, deceit or misrepresentation." Each was also charged with one count of obtaining a prescription for opiates by giving a false name or address, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.

Howard K. Stern

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The trial might not start until summer 2010, according to attorneys, but there are still many legal motions that need to be resolved prior to then.

Eroshevich, Kapoor and Stern could face five years in prison if they are convicted, authorities said.

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Smith fatally overdosed from a combination of at least nine medications at the age of 39 in a Florida hotel room in February 2007.



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