Jury in Smith case asks questions, ends day

AP News
Posted: Oct 13, 2010 8:33 PM
Jury in Smith case asks questions, ends day

Jurors deliberating in the Anna Nicole Smith drug conspiracy case asked for an explanation Wednesday of two charges against Smith's boyfriend Howard K. Stern.

The panel later recessed deliberations for a second day without getting an answer or reaching verdicts.

In a note to the court, jurors asked how the two counts of unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance to Smith could apply to Stern.

His lawyer stressed in closing arguments that Stern is a lawyer, not a doctor, and could not have prescribed anything.

His co-defendants are Drs. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich.

Jurors also asked if verdicts for Stern on some counts that include Kapoor or Eroshevich should be considered separately.

A hearing was scheduled for Thursday for attorneys to argue about how to answer the query.

Superior Court Judge Robert Perry, who presided over the trial, was on vacation. Another judge will preside over the hearing.

The six women and six men must decide whether Stern, Kapoor and Eroshevich provided excessive opiates and sedatives to the former Playboy model while knowing she was an addict. Defense lawyers said Smith was not an addict and the medications were for pain.

The defendants are not charged in Smith's 2007 overdose death in Florida.