Inside Anna Nicole Smith's Death Room: Duffel Of Cash, Bottles Of Drugs & More
LOS ANGELES — Drug bottles, a duffel bag full of cash and Anna Nicole Smith's sobbing boyfriend were found in the Florida hotel room where the Playboy model died of an overdose three years ago, a police detective testified Thursday.
Detective Katherine Frank was the first witness to take the stand in the trial of Smith's lawyer-boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, and two doctors who have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to supply the model with vast amounts of powerful opiates and sedatives.
Smith, 39, was found dead in the Hollywood, Fla., room in February 2007.
Frank testified that shortly after her body was found and taken away, Stern fell to his knees in the room and began crying.
"He was visibly shaken with reddened eyes, tears and trembling," Frank said.
The account was elicited by Stern's lawyer, Steve Sadow, who has said Stern was in love with Smith and all his actions were directed at trying to help her.
The detective said a duffel bag found in the room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel contained more than $8,000 in cash.
Smith's bodyguard Maurice Brighthaupt told police he was owed the money and demanded they hand it over, but they refused, Frank testified.
Brighthaupt was expected to testify Friday.
Under prosecution questioning, pharmacist Olga Kopetman identified multiple prescriptions written by defendant Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, a psychiatrist, to Anna Nicole Smith, Vicky Marshall, which is Smith's real name, and three other names including Stearn, a misspelling of Stern, from 2003 to 2006. They were filled at a pharmacy in Studio City.
Some were for the painkiller Vicodin and anti-anxiety drugs Xanax and Zoloft. Others were for sleep and anti-seizure medications, the pharmacist said.
Stern paid for the drugs, Kopetman testified, with one bill totaling $4,474.
Kopetman and another pharmacist, Emma Avakian, testified that Stern frequently picked up drugs prescribed by Eroshovich, and that they never saw Anna Nicole Smith pick up her own prescriptions, which often included large quantities of drugs with refills available.
Avakian said one prescription for Valium provided 240 pills and was refilled after just three weeks.
Avakian said she was concerned about the amount of narcotics because "a patient can overdose and too much of it can kill them."
On cross-examination, Sadow asked if a patient taking many of the drugs over a long period would build a tolerance. Kopetman said that was possible, and the patient would have to receive larger doses for the drugs to be effective.
Superior Court Judge Robert Perry has said Smith's cause of death is not an issue in the trial of Stern, Eroshevich and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor. The defendants are not accused of causing Smith's death.
Posted: 08/ 5/10 08:39 PM
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