Prosecutors Portray Anna Nicole as Co-Conspirator in Drug Case
Case expected to go to the jury Wednesday or Thurdsay
Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, Howard K. Stern and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich (Getty Images)
Smith's former boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, and Doctors Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich are accused of giving Smith excessive prescription drugs while knowing she was an addict.
The three are not charged in Smith's 2007 overdose death, which was ruled accidental.
On Monday, Deputy District Attorney David Barkhurst portrayed Smith as an "out of control" drug addict who pressured doctors into prescribing pain killers and sedatives that she craved.
Barkhurst is the first lawyer to address jurors. He focused his remarks on Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, the internist accused of doing inadequate tests before giving Smith a powerful opiate she requested.
Barkhurt began his closing argument after the judge instructed jurors that, according to the law, a person who seeks drugs for pain is not an addict.
The defense claims Smith was in extreme physical and emotional pain when she began taking opiates and sedatives, including Methadone, Vicodin and Dilaudid.
Witnesses have said Smith suffered from chronic pain syndrome, seizures, migraines, spinal pain and fractured ribs, among other ailments.
But Barkhurst suggested all the ailments were a ruse to get drugs.
Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose began her argument just before court recessed Monday and was to continue Tuesday.
The three defense lawyers said they would have a total of about six hours of closing arguments before the case goes to the jury.
They have portrayed the defendants as caring people who tried to help Smith through difficult times after the death of her son Daniel in the Bahamas.
Last week, Superior Court Judge Robert Perry dismissed two charges against Stern of obtaining drugs for Smith by fraud and deceit, including the use of false names.
Judge Perry also dismissed part of a conspiracy count against Stern and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, ruling there was insufficient proof that the two men conspired to obtain controlled drugs through fraud and deceit.
Perry allowed the balance of that conspiracy charge to stand and ruled the bulk of the 11-count complaint would go to the jury for a decision.
The judge has been critical of the prosecution's case throughout the trial.
"I think there are weaknesses in the prosecution's case," Perry said. "But my inclination is to let it go to the jury."
Judge Perry has raised the unusual prospect that if he does not agree with jury convictions, he has the option to change the verdicts or order a new trial. He said he has done this in other cases.
The case is expected to go to the jury Wednesday or Thursday.