- Number-crunchers put GOP chances of retaking Senate at 60 percent: report
- Ohio sheriff sends bill to Mexico for cost of jailing illegals
- Fla. voters’ support for medical marijuana bodes well for ballot measure: poll
- Keith Urban concert ends in ‘nutso’ chaos, with dozens arrested, injured
- Very religious still lean toward GOP, reflecting long-term patterns, Gallup poll shows
- Fist bump becoming all the rage for germ-wary handshakers
- Tennessee storms ravage counties, wreck 10 homes
- Chinese police tear down church cross in religion crackdown
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: ‘Obama, Obama, where are you?’
- Maine police find wife, husband, 3 children dead in home
No prison time sought in Anna Nicole Smith case
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Prosecutors in the Anna Nicole Smith prescription drug case are urging a judge to choose felony probation, community service and fines rather than prison for her psychiatrist and lawyer-boyfriend convicted of obtaining drugs for her under false names.
On the eve of their scheduled sentencing, lawyers for Dr. Khristine Eroshevich and Howard K. Stern want something different. They are asking to have their clients’ convictions reduced to misdemeanors or dismissed in the interest of justice.
They argue in written motions that using pseudonyms to protect the privacy of celebrities in medical situations is common practice. They accuse the district attorney’s office of singling out the doctor and lawyer for prosecution “for political and publicity purposes, not justice.”
Superior Court Judge Robert Perry, who presided over their nine-week trial, has the option to sentence them to up to three years and eight months behind bars at a hearing Thursday.
In a sentencing memorandum filed Tuesday, Deputy District Attorney Sean Carney advocated sentencing both defendants to five years of supervised felony probation, 300 hours each of community service, with Stern working for Caltrans, California’s highway maintenance department. The memo suggested Eroshevich’s community service be directed by the California Medical Board and that each defendant pay a $5,000 fine.
Carney also asked that Eroshevich be barred from prescribing controlled substances, severely limiting her ability to continue practicing medicine.
Stern and Eroshevich are seeking dismissal, a new trial or reduction of their convictions to misdemeanors. A third defendant, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, was acquitted of all charges and the jury deadlocked on several counts.
Stern’s attorneys, Steve Sadow and J. Christopher Smith, noted in written motions that Stern was convicted of only two of 11 counts involving conspiring with Eroshevich to use his name on prescriptions for Smith.
“The evidence proved that Mr. Stern honestly believed the practice was legal,” said the motion, which noted past use of false names on prescriptions for celebrities including the late Michael Jackson and actress Brittany Murphy. It said their doctors were never charged with violating the false names statute.
The sentencing hearing will mark the denouement of a long-running drama centering on the blonde beauty’s troubled life, which was documented on reality TV, in tabloids and in trial testimony. Smith also made headlines in a continuing $300 million court fight with the estate of her oil tycoon husband.
Stern, 41, had been Smith’s lawyer, manager, lover and friend since they met in 2001. Testimony showed they were inseparable, even when she was involved with other men. The trial documented their romantic odyssey and the birth of a baby Stern once thought was his. DNA tests confirmed photographer Larry Birkhead was the father.
Smith died after suffering a drug overdose in a Florida hotel room in 2007. The death was ruled an accident and the California defendants were not charged with causing her death.
Smith’s physical and emotional problems were the subject of exhaustive testimony as prosecutors sought to paint the defendants as enablers who fed Smith’s addiction to prescription pain killers. But the jury rejected most of the charges, accepting defense arguments that Smith was not an addict but a woman with chronic pain.
The jury also appeared to reject prosecution claims that the defendants were dazzled by Smith’s glamor and filled her demands for prescription drugs to protect their insider status in her personal life and her celebrity world.
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- Rahm Emanuel: Send illegal immigrant shelter kids to Chicago
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- HAYDEN: Intelligence, evidence and the case against Russia
- Tennessee storms ravage counties, wreck 10 homes
- Libya now nation at risk with weak U.S. influence; embassy closes as chaos grows
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq