There may finally be justice for the late Anna Nicole Smith.
More than seven years after her tragic death, the California Supreme Court ruled on Monday, Nov. 3, that her ex-boyfriend and manager Howard K. Stern can be retried on conspiracy charges related to obtaining prescription drugs for the late model — and that's because a fake name was used to retrieve the medications.
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The decision means the case will return to a criminal judge in LA, but does not promise that Stern will be retried.
According to the Associated Press, in 2010, a jury convicted the manager and Anna Nicole’s psychiatrist, Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, of two counts of conspiring to obtain prescription drugs under a false name. LA Superior Court Judge Robert Perry later dismissed the case, saying it was within reason for a celebrity to use alternate identities to protect his/her privacy.
An appeals court later ordered the convictions be reinstated — the decision Stern and his lawyers are now hoping to overturn, despite it being ruled at the time that he could not be retried due to double jeopardy (a legal principle that prohibits people from being tried twice for the same crime).
However, that decision was overturned earlier this week. On Monday, the statement from the Supreme Court said, “We conclude that the Court of Appeal erred when it ordered that double jeopardy precluded defendant from being retried and hold that, if the trial court grants defendant a new trial on any of his remaining claims, he may be retried.”