On Thursday, October 28, a Los Angeles County jury convicted Anna Nicole Smith's psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and boyfriend Howard K. Stern of conspiring to use false names to get the actress' prescriptions, Associated Press reported. Smith's doctor Dr. Sandeep Kapoor who became third defendant, however, was acquitted on all counts against him.
Eroshevich was convicted of using a false name and misrepresentation to obtain prescriptions for the painkiller Vicodin for Smith. Meanwhile, Stern was found guilty of giving false names and acting by fraud to obtain prescriptions. Kapoor, who prescribed most of Smith's pain medications, was acquitted of all six counts.
Of his triumph, emotional Kapoor said outside the court, "This is not just a victory for me, but for patients everywhere who suffer chronic pain." His attorney, Ellyn Garofalo, believed the same thing, saying "It was a victory for Anna Nicole Smith. This jury did not find she was an addict."
As for Stern, who originally faced 11 counts of conspiracy but was later convicted of only two conspiracy counts, told reporters, "Everything relating to the appropriateness of the medication, I was acquitted of." Stern's lawyer, Steve Sadow, claimed his client never denied using his name on Smith's prescriptions but insisted Stern didn't know it was illegal.
Eroshevich, in the meantime, said she felt "relieved" and "just happy it's over." Both she and Stern remained free pending a January 6 hearing when the defense can file a motion for a new trial. If the motion is denied, the judge can sentence the two although it was not immediately clear how much prison time, if any, they could face.
Moreover, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley was also pleased with the result. Cooley said in a statement, "This case illustrates the problem of the overuse of prescription medicine in today's society. Medical professionals have a responsibility to ensure that the strict ethical guidelines of their profession are followed in prescribing medicine as part of the care of their patients."