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Anna Nicole Smith's manager can be retried on conspiracy charges related to obtaining prescription drugs for use by the model, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The decision returns the case to a criminal judge in Los Angeles, but it does not guarantee that Howard K. Stern will be retried. The ruling states that Stern could face a retrial on two conspiracy charges if a judge grants a request for a new trial and does not find another legal basis to dismiss the case.
Stern was previously acquitted of most of the 11 counts he faced related to the obtaining of drugs for Smith, who died in from an accidental drug overdose in Florida in 2007.
A jury convicted Stern and Smith's psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich in 2010 of two counts each of conspiracy stemming from prescriptions written on behalf of the former Playboy playmate under a false name. They were not charged with causing her death.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry later dismissed the case, saying it was not unusual in the celebrity world for fake names to be used to protect privacy.
An appeals court then ordered the convictions reinstated and ruled that Stern could not be retried due to double jeopardy — a legal principle that prevents people from being tried twice for the same crime. Stern's attorney Steve Sadow was not immediately available for comment. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office had no immediate comment on the latest ruling.
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