BY: Linda Deutsch
LOS ANGELES (AP) – A pharmacist testified Tuesday that he warned Anna Nicole Smith’s psychiatrist against prescribing a powerful sleeping medication to the celebrity model after she had given birth to a daughter and endured the death of her son in 2006.
“I said, ‘Unless you want your picture on the cover of the National Enquirer, I wouldn’t give her (chloral hydrate) because it’s a powerful respiratory depressant,’” pharmacist Steve Mazlin said he told Dr. Khristina Eroshevich.
Mazlin said Eroshevich purchased chloral hydrate and also asked for a rapidly acting anti-anxiety medication, and he recommended lorazepam.
An autopsy showed Smith died in February 2007 of an accidental overdose of chloral hydrate combined with other controlled substances.
Eroshevich is charged along with Dr. Sandeep Kapoor and Howard K. Stern, Smith’s lawyer-boyfriend, with conspiring to provide controlled substances to Smith. All have pleaded not guilty.
The testimony came at a preliminary hearing to determine if they should stand trial.
Another pharmacist, Romeo V. Par, testified that Eroshevich came to his pharmacy in October, 2006 and obtained the drugs Xanax, Valium and klonopin for a patient named Charlene Underwood. Valium and klonopin also were implicated in Smith’s overdose death.
The prosecution maintains Underwood was a pseudonym used for Smith, and they called to the stand a woman by that name who once did business with Eroshevich.
The judge, expressing impatience at the length of the hearing, hustled her on and off the stand and told prosecutors to begin moving their case along.
A hospital psychiatrist who treated Smith for drug dependency concluded two days on the stand saying the former Playmate fit the legal definition of an addict.
However, under questioning by a judge, Dr. Nathalie Maullin said she never used the words “addict” or “addiction” when discussing the celebrity model’s problems with her, Kapoor and Stern.
Before leaving the stand, Maullin said she once asked Kapoor if he thought Smith was addicted. She said he chuckled and mentioned she had problems with alcohol.
The charging document in the case states that Stern, Kapoor and Eroshevich “acted with knowledge that Anna Nicole Smith was an addict.” Prosecutors are trying to prove the defendants had that knowledge.
Maullin, who treated Smith during a brief hospital stay when she was pregnant in April, 2006, was quizzed by Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry on the addiction issue.
“She was never trying to get high?” he asked.
“I never thought she was trying to get high. I think she wanted to tune out,” the psychiatrist said.
The preliminary hearing will be recessed Wednesday, a mandated state furlough day for the court system.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.