D.A. to Appeal Judge's Decision in Anna Nicole Smith Trial

Prosecutors gave notice Friday that they are moving forward with their appeal of a judge's decision to throw out nearly all of the charges on which Anna Nicole Smith's longtime companion and a psychiatrist were convicted last year.

In papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Deputy District Attorney Irene Wakabayashi wrote that the prosecution is taking its case to California's 2nd District Court of Appeal.
The filing comes almost two months after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry tossed out the only two charges on which Howard K. Stern was convicted and three of the four charges on which Smith's former next-door neighbor, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, was found guilty.
Perry reduced the final charge against Eroshevich -- unlawfully obtaining a prescription by giving a false name -- to a misdemeanor and sentenced her to one year on probation and a $100 fine.
Stern and Eroshevich were convicted last Oct. 28 of conspiring to provide prescription drugs to the reality television star and one-time Playboy Playmate, but the judge cited insufficient evidence in his Jan. 6 ruling.
As he did throughout the lengthy trial, the judge criticized prosecutors, saying the verdicts, in which the most serious charges were rejected by the jury, were ``a stunning repudiation of the prosecution.''
Perry said that while doctors who doubled as ``pill pushers'' were an ongoing societal problem, ``this case did not involve such doctors.''
He also said the trial revealed a ``misunderstanding'' of conspiracy law on the part of the prosecutors. In granting the defense's motion for a new trial on the conspiracy counts against Stern, the judge said the evidence was both ``lacking and insufficient.''
Hours after the ruling, District Attorney Steve Cooley said his office would ``pursue all appellate remedies to overturn Judge Perry's decision.''
Stern and Eroshevich were convicted after jurors spent 13 days considering the case against them.
Stern -- who was also Smith's attorney -- was acquitted of seven other charges, including unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance.
Jurors deadlocked on two counts against Eroshevich, a psychiatrist who lived next door to Smith in Studio City.
A third doctor, Sandeep Kapoor, was acquitted of all six charges against him.
The three defendants were not charged with Smith's Feb. 8, 2007, accidental drug overdose death in Florida at age 39.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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