Lisa RoseJPI
Siobhan Morrissey
November 16, 2007 03:00 PM

The inquest into the 2006 death of Anna Nicole Smith‘s son Daniel is finally slated to begin Monday.

Daniel Wayne Smith died Sept. 10, 2006, a month shy of turning 21. His death took place 11 hours after his arrival in the Bahamas and in the same Nassau hospital room where his mother was recovering after the birth of a baby girl, Dannielynn, born three days earlier.

Although Bahamian authorities concluded Daniel Smith died from a lethal combination of drugs, including methadone and antidepressants, they requested an inquest to determine the official cause – and whether the death was an accident, suicide or perhaps even a homicide.

A coroner’s inquest into the death has been postponed three times, and so far three different magistrates have handled the case.

Initially slated to start Oct. 23, 2006, the case became so controversial that it led to a decision by the Bahamian Supreme Court Chief Justice to disband the coroner’s court.

Birkhead May Testify

The case is now before Magistrate William Campbell – but after a jury was seated last month, matters were again delayed due to Hurricane Noel.

Some three-dozen witnesses may be called to testify – including Larry Birkhead, who after a prolonged legal battle proved he was the father of Dannielynn.

Another witness may be South Carolina developer Gaither Ben Thompson, who is battling Smith’s companion, Howard K. Stern over ownership of the million-dollar Bahamian home Stern shared with Anna Nicole before her death on Feb. 8, 2007 – which has been determined to have been caused by an accidental overdose of several medications, including methadone for pain and Valium, which had been lethally mixed with the sleeping medication chloral hydrate.

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