Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole Smith’s lawyer and companion, and two of the actress’ physicians were arraigned in a Downtown Los Angeles court today. The three defendants pleaded not guilty to charges they were involved in a conspiracy to provide the late actress with thousands of prescription pills and other drugs during the final years of her life.
Smith died in Florida in February of 2007, after being discovered unresponsive in a hotel room. Later, it was determined the 39-year-old former Playboy model died from a fatal drug overdose. The other two defendants in the case are 40-year-old Sandeep Kapoor and 61-year-old Khristine Eroshevich. State Attorney General Jerry Brown has accused 40-year-old Stern of being “the principal enabler” in an alleged scheme that involved prescriptions written using phony names.
Today, Commissioner Kristi Lousteau ordered Stern and the two doctors to give handwriting samples to investigators. Each defendant is free on $20,000 bond. The trio is due back in court on June 8, 2009 to set a date for a preliminary hearing.