The longtime companion of tragic Anna Nicole Smith has been found guilty of helping to funnel prescription medications to the former Playboy Playmate.
After 58-hours of deliberation the jury convicted Howard K. Stern, 41, on two counts of conspiracy for allegedly fueling the starlet’s raging prescription drug problem that ultimately killed her.
Stern was acquitted of seven other charges.
Outside the court, Stern made a brief statement, saying: “Everything related to the appropriateness of the medication, I was acquitted of.”
Psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich was convicted of four criminal counts, including two conspiracy charges.
Another doctor, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, was acquitted of all charges.
Asked outside the courthouse for his reaction to the verdicts, Kapoor said:
“It’s surreal. It’s overwhelming. It gives me a sense of purpose and
I’m anxious to get back to work.”
Kapoor also said the verdicts against Stern and Eroshevich were really ‘a victory for them too,’ saying the counts pertained only to their use of different names on prescriptions to protect Smith’s privacy.
Prosecutors argued during the trial that Stern and the two doctors worked together to keep Smith well-supplied with ample amounts of prescription medications.
The six-man, six-woman jury reached the verdict on its 13th day of deliberations.
Stern, Kapoor and Eroshevic were not charged with Smith’s Feb. 8, 2007, accidental drug overdose death in Florida at age 39.
Smith’s former lawyer boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, and doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were accused of illegally providing drugs to Smith. They all pleaded not guilty to the drug conspiracy charges.
Stern will appear back in court on January 6th for sentencing.
He faces a maximum of three years behind bars.