A Los Angeles County judge on Friday rejected calls from prosecutors to jail a psychiatrist in connection with Anna Nicole Smith’s death, instead reducing her conviction to misdemeanor conspiracy and allowing her to go free.
In 2011, Judge Robert J. Perry threw out conspiracy convictions against psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich and Howard K. Stern, a companion of Smith, in a trial related to the death of the actress-model from prescription drugs.
Perry's ruling stated that prosecutors failed to show that the two intended to break the law when they used fake names to acquire powerful painkillers and sedatives for Smith.
The ruling cleared Stern of all charges and left Eroshevich with one misdemeanor conviction for conspiracy.
In 2012, a California appellate court ruled that Perry erred when he threw out the convictions and ordered that conspiracy charges against Eroshevich and Stern be reinstated and that they should be resentenced.
On Friday, Perry threw out one of the remaining conspiracy charges against Eroshevich, reduced the final charge to a misdemeanor and sentenced her to a $100 fine and a year of probation. The judge stayed the order, however, finding that she had already completed the probation. Eroshevich faces no other charges and received no further sentencing.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Sean Carney told the judge that Eroshevich betrayed the immense responsibility that doctors hold through “egregious overprescribing” of powerful medications. The ruling “sends the wrong message,” Carney said.
The judge said Eroshevich had no criminal record and that there was no malice in her actions, which prosecutors say contributed to Smith's death in 2007.
Eroshevich’s attorney, Bradley Brunon, said outside the courtroom that he was pleased with the ruling.
“We’re glad that this is finally over and everyone can go on living their lives,” Brunon said.
Stern is expected to appear in court in June.
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