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Defense: Anna Nicole Smith was no Lindsay Lohan

By Alan Duke, CNN
The judge in the  Anna Nicole Smith trial has been highly critical of the prosecution's case.
The judge in the Anna Nicole Smith trial has been highly critical of the prosecution's case.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jury deliberations could begin Thursday afternoon
  • Defense lawyers argue the doctor's medical judgment can't be a crime
  • Smith's boyfriend-lawyer, 2 doctors are charged with conspiring to feed her addiction

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- The trial of Anna Nicole Smith's boyfriend-lawyer Howard K. Stern and two doctors is set to move to the jury room Thursday after closing arguments conclude.

A defense lawyer told jurors Wednesday not to be "led down the primrose path" by prosecutors who portrayed Smith as a drug-seeking, out-of-control addict who manipulated her doctors to get dangerous drugs.

Smith depended on drugs to relieve chronic pain, migraine headaches, depression and anxiety, but she was not a drug addict, said Ellyn Garofolo, who defends Dr. Sandeep Kapoor.

"We don't see any Lindsay Lohan incidents," Garofolo told jurors in closing arguments Wednesday. Lohan's legal troubles, including a failed drug test, made headlines since the Smith drug trial began in August.

Stern, Kapoor and Dr. Khristine Eroshevich are accused of conspiring to feed the reality TV star and Playboy model's drug addiction and using false names to obtain the drugs. They are not charged in Smith's February 2007 death.

"There is not a single physical test done on Anna Nicole Smith during the time Dr. Kapoor is treating her," Deputy District Attorney David Barkhurst said.

Instead of treating Smith's pain, Kapoor and Eroshevich were feeding her addiction, Barkhurst argued.

"Our laws are designed to stop prosecutors and law enforcement from second-guessing medical physicians," Garofolo said in her closing argument. California law protects doctors who give drugs to addicts if they believe in good faith that the prescriptions are for a medical purpose, she said.

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Although Smith voluntarily entered the Betty Ford Clinic in 1996, medical records showed no doctor ever diagnosed her as an addict, Garofolo said. Every doctor recognized her chronic pain, depression and anxiety, she said.

"One thing should not be in dispute in this case, and that is that Anna Nicole Smith suffered from pain," Garofolo said.

Kapoor inherited Smith as a patient when he took over the medical practice of Dr. Victor Kovner in 2004. Kapoor worked off the files and notes given to him by Kovner, she said.

"Dr. Kapoor prescribed exactly what Dr. Kovner prescribed in exactly the same amounts," Garofolo said.

The prosecution targeted Kapoor's prescriptions of Dilaudid, a powerful painkiller, given to Smith repeatedly starting with her first visit to him in April, 2004.

"Anna Nicole Smith liked Dilaudid," Barkhurst said. "She asked for what she liked."

Garofolo argued that Kapoor actually undertreated Smith's pain after she broke ribs in a jet ski accident in May 2004, citing an expert who testified that the recommended Dilaudid dosage should have been higher.

Prosecutors suggested that Smith may have exaggerated her rib injury pain to get drugs from four different doctors over the next several months.

"Is this pain legitimate?" Deputy District Attorney Rose asked.

Smith was swimming and playing at a summer camp for children with AIDS just three months later, Rose said.

She jumped on a full-size trampoline in her home, evidence that her chronic back pain may have been faked, Rose said.

The defense lawyer, however, saw Smith's activities as evidence she was doing "exceedingly well" under Kapoor's care.

"If Anna Nicole Smith was on a trampoline and cavorting with kids at Camp Kendall, it was because the medicine was working," Garofolo said.

Kapoor and Eroshevich are also charged with using false names to write prescriptions that were intended for Smith. Prosecutors argued they wanted to hide them from the state's computer system that monitors drug usage.

The defense said it was a common practice in Hollywood, used to protect celebrities' privacy from prying tabloid reporters.

A long list of other doctors who treated Smith wrote prescriptions in other names, including physicians who treated her at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center seven months before her death, Garofolo said.

Kapoor used the two names Kovner used before him, Anna N. Smith and Michelle Chase, Garofolo said.

Her stage name, Anna Nicole Smith, was used when she wanted her Screen Actors Guild insurance to pay for a drug, she said. Michelle Chase was used for most painkiller prescriptions to protect Smith's privacy, she said.

The pharmacist who filled all but one of the prescriptions testified he knew all of the drugs were for Smith.

Kapoor's lawyer also challenged the prosecution argument that he gave into Smith's demands for drugs because he wanted to be the celebrity's friend. She said the doctor had only seen Smith one time in a social setting.

Prosecutors showed the jury photos of Kapoor riding with Smith in a gay pride parade in 2005 and later "nuzzling" with her at a restaurant.

"I was making out with Anna, my patient, blurring the lines," Kapoor wrote in a personal journal that night. "I give her methadone, valium. Can she ruin me?" he also wrote.

Stern invited Kapoor, who is gay, to ride in the West Hollywood parade, Garofolo said. Kapoor became "somewhat inebriated." He never saw Smith socially again.

"If he had not spent an afternoon with his shirt off, partying at a gay pride parade, he would not be sitting here," she told jurors Wednesday.

Defense lawyer Steve Sadow, who represents Stern, was set to deliver his closing arguments Thursday morning, followed by the prosecution's rebuttal. The case will then go to the jury for deliberations.

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