The judge in the Anna Nicole Smith drug conspiracy trial tossed out two felony charges against Smith's former beau Howard K. Stern on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry – who earlier this week accused prosecutors of overcharging the case because a celebrity death was involved – discarded two charges against Stern of obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit.
The judge also dismissed part of a conspiracy count against Stern and one of the two physicians on trial, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, saying there wasn't enough proof that the men conspired to obtain controlled drugs through fraud and deceit.
Judge Perry allowed the rest of the conspiracy charge to stand and said the majority of the 11-count complaint can go to the jury for a decision.
Perry told prosecutors on Monday that he has presided over 622 felony jury trials in his career, but only in three cases had he been faced with "overzealous" prosecutors who "appeared to put winning above" fairness.
The rulings on the defense's motion to dismiss were made outside the presence of the jury, which returns to court Monday for closing arguments in the trial of Stern, Kapoor and Smith's psychiatrist, Khristine Eroshevich, who prescribed many of the drugs found in Smith’s body after her death in 2007 at age 39.