Howard K Stern, Doctors, Charged With Anna Nicole's Death
Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend Howard K. Stern and two doctors were charged Thursday with giving thousands of prescription drugs to the former Playboy Playmate in the years leading up to her fatal drug overdose in 2007.
Stern and doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were each charged with three felony counts of conspiracy and several other charges of fraudulent prescriptions. Prosecutors said the doctors gave the drugs - including opiates and sedatives - to Stern, who then gave them to Smith.
The prescriptions were issued between June 2004 and January 2007, just weeks before Smith's death.
"These individuals repeatedly and excessively furnished thousands of prescription pills to Anna Nicole Smith, often for no legitimate medical purpose," California Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a statement.
Brown's spokesman, Scott Gerber, told The Associated Press that Stern and Kapoor surrendered Thursday night and posted $20,000 bond, and that Eroshevich will surrender Monday. An arraignment date was not set.
The medical examiner's office has said Eroshevich, a Los Angeles psychiatrist and friend of the starlet's, authorized all the prescription medications found in the Hollywood, Fla., hotel room where the 39-year-old Smith was found unresponsive shortly before her death in Feb. 8, 2007.
The criminal complaint also alleges Kapoor wrote prescriptions for Smith under a patient alias Michelle Chase. Prosecutors allege the doctor gave her excessive amounts of sleep aids, opiates, muscle relaxants and methadone-like drugs used to treat addiction, knowing she was an addict.
The criminal complaint includes eight other felony charges, including obtaining fraudulent prescriptions and unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance. In all, Stern faces six felonies and the doctors each are charged with seven. Prosecutors did not immediately know how many years in prison they faced if convicted.
Documents obtained by The Associated Press after Smith's death showed Ehrosevich authorized all 11 prescription medications found in the model's hotel room the day she died. Most of the drugs were prescribed in the name of Stern, her lawyer-turned-companion, and none were prescribed in Smith's own name.
The quantity was staggering. More than 600 pills - including about 450 muscle relaxants - were missing from prescriptions that were no more than five weeks old. Ultimately, it was a syrup - the powerful sleeping aid chloral hydrate - blamed with tipping the balance in the toxic mix of drugs and causing her death.