Anna Nicole Smith died more than seven years ago after overdosing on prescription drugs, and now the manager who obtained those prescriptions for her could be back in court.
The manager for the late actress and model is seeking a new trial that could return the case to a criminal judge in Los Angeles. Howard K. Stern is seeking a re-trial for his conviction on two counts of conspiracy. Stern and Smith’s physician, Dr. Khristine Eroschevich, were each convicted of two counts of conspiring to obtain prescriptions under a false name.
Stern had faced a number of other charges related to obtaining drugs for Anna Nicole Smith, who died in Florida in 2007. He was not charged in her death itself.
The convictions had originally been dismissed by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry, who said it was not unusual for Hollywood celebrities to obtain prescriptions under a fake name to avoid publicity, but an appeals court reinstated the convictions.
Stern said he hopes a judge will revert to the original decision to put aside the convictions.
“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.
Though Smith has been dead for close to a decade, legal battles surrounding her death and estate have dragged on. Earlier this year, the Anna Nicole Smith estate lost a final bid to obtain $44 million from the estate of her late husband, J. Howard Marshall. The money would have gone to her daughter, Dannielynn Birkhead.
A judge in Orange County rejected a bid on the part of Smith’s lawyers to claim that Marshall’s family used delay tactics and obfuscations to put off the appeal.
Anna Nicole Smith was 26 when she married the 89-year-old Marshall. After his death, Smith asked for $300 million, claiming that Marshall was not in sound mind when he drew up his will. After bouncing through various courts, her request was ultimately denied.