Anna Nicole Smith's 2 longtime companions convicted of providing strong drugs to model

42172.jpegA Los Angeles County jury Thursday convicted Anna Nicole Smith's longtime companion and a psychiatrist of conspiring to provide powerful prescription drugs to the model for several years before her fatal overdose in 2007.

The jury acquitted a third defendant - one of Smith's doctors - of all charges.

The panel deliberated for more than two weeks before convicting Howard K. Stern and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich on two counts each of conspiring to obtain controlled substances by fraud and by providing false names. Eroshevich was also convicted of two additional counts involving obtaining medication by fraud, Los Angeles Times reports.

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, according to AceShowbiz.


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