Jury selected in Anna Nicole Smith case

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A jury of six women and six men was selected Tuesday in the Anna Nicole Smith drug conspiracy trial in Los Angeles. Opening statements were scheduled Wednesday.

The panel includes a registered nurse and a hospital employee who works with drug-addicted mothers. Another panelist has a doctorate in biology and promised not to substitute her expertise in drugs for that of witnesses in the case.

The jury also includes a traffic officer, telephone company collection agent and a parcel delivery man.

Smith's lawyer-boyfriend Howard K. Stern and two of the former Playboy model's doctors have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to provide Smith with massive amounts of opiates and sedatives. They are not charged with her overdose death in 2007.

More than 120 prospective jurors underwent intensive questioning over two days. Most have known people with drug problems; some had family members in prison.

Almost everyone questioned said they regularly take prescription drugs.

Lawyers also asked jury candidates if they thought celebrities deserved privacy concerning their medical records.

Superior Court Judge Robert Perry stressed the cause of Smith's death was not an issue in the case.

"What we are trying is a legality of prescribing medication case," he said.


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