Judge tosses nearly all charges in Anna Nicole Smith case; Cooley plans appeal

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Prosecutors say they’ll try to overturn an LA judge’s decision to wipe out nearly all the criminal charges in the Anna Nicole Smith case. The actress and model’s longtime companion and a psychiatrist were convicted last October of conspiring to keep her doped up on painkillers. Those convictions are gone now.

This was supposed to be a sentencing hearing.

Instead, Judge Robert Perry tossed out the two charges against Smith’s friend Howard K. Stern – and three of the four charges against Dr. Khristine Erosevich.

He cut the last one to a misdemeanor, and sentenced Erosevich to a year of probation plus a small fine – not the five years probation prosecutors wanted for her and for Stern.

Perry said the evidence was “lacking and insufficient.”

He’d been skeptical throughout the trial. LA County District Attorney Steve Cooley quickly announced an appeal, saying Judge Perry’s ruling “diminishes the huge social problem of prescription drug abuse.”

Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental prescription drug overdose four years ago.

Prosecutors went after Stern, Eroshevich and another doctor – saying they’d kept her hooked on painkillers by supplying her with a steady stream of drugs.

From the start, Perry whittled away at the charges – and now only one misdemeanor conviction is left.