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Defense questions prosecution money for witnesses in Anna Nicole trial

By Alan Duke, CNN
Questions were raised in the Anna Nicole Smith drug trial about the financial arrangements made for her former nanny.
Questions were raised in the Anna Nicole Smith drug trial about the financial arrangements made for her former nanny.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The prosecutors agreed to pay rent and utilities for Smith's former nanny
  • The witness insisted she bring her family to Los Angeles at taxpayer expense
  • Smith's boyfriend-lawyer and two doctors are on trial
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Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Prosecutors in the Anna Nicole Smith drug trial paid rent, utilities and moving expenses so a key witness could testify this week, according to testimony Wednesday.

Smith's former nanny said the government also picked up the tab for eight family members to travel with her from the Bahamas to Los Angeles, California, for the trial.

Quethelie Alexie and her sister-in-law, Nadine Alexie, both testified in the sixth week of the trial of Smith's boyfriend-lawyer Howard K. Stern and Drs. Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor. They are accused of a conspiracy to provide drugs to an addict and using false names on prescriptions for Smith.

Both women worked for Smith in the Bahamas for several months after the birth of her daughter in September 2006. They were fired two months before Smith died in a Florida hotel in February 2007.

"I left Anna in a bad condition," Quethelie Alexie said. The Haitian native spoke in Creole through an interpreter.

While her testimony was intended to give jurors details of Smith's drug use in the wake of her son's death, a key part of it was stricken from the record. Judge Robert Perry ordered the jury to ignore it after she varied from what she said earlier during a preview for the judge.

The defense also worked to cast doubt in jurors' minds by questioning Quethelie Alexie about the financial arrangements she made with prosecutors before she agreed to testify.

Quethelie Alexie said she told prosecutors she and her sister-in-law would only travel to the United States if they could bring their six children and Nadine Alexie's husband. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office is paying for their travel and hotel expenses.

She told prosecutors when she arrived in Los Angeles on Sunday that she needed additional financial help to pay her rent and utilities for her home back in the Bahamas, she said.

"I knew I had all of my things to pay, and I didn't know how to do it," Quethelie Alexie testified.

The government will also help her relocate to a new home because she is afraid for her safety after her testimony, she said. She testified that she was in fear because a police officer in the Bahamas once threatened her.

"My life is going to be in trouble now," Quethelie Alexie said.

The two women are expected to continue their testimony when court resumes Friday.