He was once Anna Nicole Smith‘s lawyer, confidant, reality show costar and lover.
Now Howard K. Stern has another label: convicted felon.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Thursday found Stern guilty of two counts of conspiracy for fueling the starlet’s raging prescription drug problem that ultimately killed her.
One of her doctors, Khristine Eroshevich, was also convicted of four charges; a second doctor, Sandeep Kapoor, was cleared of all counts.
The six-man, six-woman jury heard two months of testimony in the case of Stern, 41, and doctors Kapoor, 42, and Eroshevich, 62, who were charged with multiple felonies for allegedly conspiring to furnish prescription drugs to an addict.
The Case Against Them
The three were not charged with Smith’s 2007, death from a prescription overdose in Florida at age 39.
Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose had said the defendants “knew what they were doing was wrong” and that “their conduct was unlawful.”
Defense attorneys argued that the charges were arbitrary and there were no warnings to heed. Smith’s daughter, Dannielynn, now 4, was not born drug addicted, they said, and Smith didn’t have “any Lindsay Lohan incidents.”
Stern, the longtime lawyer for Smith and a familiar face to viewers of E!’s Anna Nicole Show, pledged his love to her in Sept. 2006, months before her tragic death and only days after the death of Smith’s son, Daniel.
Stern was convicted of a count of conspiring to prescribe prescription drugs using fraudulent means and a count of conspiring to furnish prescription drugs to an addict.
He was acquitted of seven other charges, including another conspiracy charge and charges of unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance and obtaining a prescription for an opiate using false information.
Eroshevich, a psychiatrist, was convicted of four charges, including the same two conspiracy charges that Stern was convicted of, as well as two counts of obtaining a prescription for opiates using a false name.
Each of them face three or more years in prison at their Jan. 6 sentencing, says a spokeswoman for the DA’s office.
Kapoor, a medical doctor, called his acquittal on all six charges against him, “a victory for patients everywhere who suffer with chronic pain.”