Howard K Stern, Anna Nicole Smith

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It's kind of a moot point, but apparently the law is the law.

Prosecutors said Friday that Anna Nicole Smith is considered a coconspirator in an alleged scheme to get her hands on prescription drugs, which is what former partner Howard K. Stern and two of her doctors are going to trial over next week.

Interesting strategy, don't you think?

Because Smith was the one who demanded prescriptions for opiates and sedatives, she was engaged in illegal activity just like the defendants were, Deputy District Attorney Renee Rose said in court today.

Even Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry expressed surprise at this approach to the case.

Stern, and physicians Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor are each facing a maximum of five years in prison for multiple felony counts of illegally prescribing and obtaining drugs for an addict. They have pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include 11 for Stern and six apiece for the doctors.

And in what sounds like a boon to the defense, Perry excluded all evidence that might connect Stern, Eroshevich or Kapoor to Smith's death in February 2007 from an accidental prescription-drug overdose because the trio are not charged in her death.

It's doubtful that they could get a fair trial if the jury is focused on Smith's death, rather than how she obtained the meds, which is what is in question here, the judge said.

Also barred was a TV interview from 1996 showing Smith leaving the Betty Ford Center after being treated for alcohol and drug addiction.

"For you to say this lady was loaded on drugs for 10 years before these people came along—I don't know how this helps your case," Perry told Rose.

More recent footage depicting Smith acting loopy, such as her slurry appearance at the 2004 American Music Awards, was allowed.

The judge wants more documentation from the prosecution, however, on why he should allow photos of Smith and Eroshevich naked in a hot tub together to be admitted into evidence. The prosecution maintains that the pictures go toward proving that there was a breakdown in the doctor-patient relationship which could have been abused further.

"None of the jurors have gotten naked and got into the bathtub with their doctors," Perry said in response to an objection from Eroshevich's attorney, who called the pics "salacious and subject to misinterpretation."

Jury selection continues Monday and opening statements are scheduled to begin Wednesday. The trial is expected to last roughly three months.

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