LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anna Nicole Smith's manager can be retried on conspiracy charges related to obtaining prescription drugs for use by the model, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The decision came as manager Howard K. Stern seeks a new trial. It returns the case to a criminal judge in Los Angeles but does not guarantee that Stern will be retried.
The ruling states that Stern could face a retrial on two conspiracy charges if a judge grants a request for a new trial and does not find another legal basis to dismiss the case.
Stern was previously acquitted of most of the 11 counts he faced related to the obtaining of drugs for Smith, who died in Florida in 2007.
A jury convicted Stern and Smith's psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich of two counts each of conspiring to obtain prescriptions under a false name in 2010.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry later dismissed the case, saying it was not unusual in the celebrity world for fake names to be used to protect privacy.
An appeals court then ordered the convictions reinstated and ruled that Stern could not be retried due to double jeopardy — a legal principle that prevents people from being tried twice for the same crime.
"We look forward to going before Judge Perry to give him the opportunity to grant our motion for a new trial," Stern's attorney Steve Sadow said.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office had no immediate comment on the latest ruling.
The case against Stern and Eroshevich involved prescriptions given to Smith in the months before she died of an accidental drug overdose. The defendants were not charged with causing her death.
Eroshevich also was convicted of one count of obtaining Vicodin under a false name.
Perry dismissed the conspiracy counts and reduced the remaining conviction against Eroshevich to a misdemeanor with a sentence of one year of probation and a $100 fine. Her lawyer has said she has fulfilled those terms.
Monday's ruling did not impact Eroshevich's case.
A co-defendant, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, who was Smith's physician, has been acquitted of all charges.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP