Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Florida officials re-examine Anna Nicole Smith's death

Full CNN story here.

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Prosecutors in Florida are taking a new look at the 2007 death of Anna Nicole Smith to see if recent evidence that California investigators gathered might cause them to open an inquiry.

Howard K. Stern -- Smith's longtime partner and attorney -- and two doctors were charged this month in California with conspiring to furnish drugs to Smith before her fatal overdose.

"Our prosecutors have met with representatives of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office and the California Department of Justice and discussed the evidence they have turned up in their investigation," said Ron Ishoy, a spokesman for Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz.

"We are now examining that evidence to see where it might lead in relation to Ms. Smith's death here in Broward County in 2007."

The Broward County state attorney's office never opened a probe into Smith's death but assisted the Seminole police in its investigation in the days afterward.

Smith, 39, was pronounced dead February 8, 2007, after being discovered unconscious in her hotel room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino near Hollywood, Florida. A coroner said she died from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs. . . .

California Attorney General Jerry Brown said the doctors and Stern devised a plan to use fake names so Smith could be prescribed "thousands of pills." The former Playboy playmate and reality TV star was drugged "almost to the point of stupefaction," Brown said.

"The quantity of the drugs, the variety of the drugs, the combination at any given point, and her continuing to use that -- that, to a professional, is clear evidence of addiction," Brown said Friday. "These cocktails of methadone and anti-depressants and sleeping pills and Xanax, you put all that into a cocktail, it explodes and can cause death, injury and permanent morbidity and disability."

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