Horry County residents to testify in Anna Nicole Smith trial
Mon, 09 Aug 2010 20:32:53 GMT —
Five Horry County residents have been ordered to testify in the criminal trial concerning the death of the late Anna Nicole Smith in Los Angeles.
On Monday, an Horry County judge granted five witness warrants filed by L.A. prosecutors to compel the Horry County witnesses to testify.
Gaither Thompson Sr., Gaither Thompson Jr., Melanie Thompson, and Ford and Gina Shelley are named as material witnesses. The five Myrtle Beach area residents knew Anna Nicole Smith when she lived in Myrtle Beach for several months in 2006.
California court documents suggest the five people were witness to the "demeanor and physical condition of the victim, Anna Nicole Smith ... prior to her death from combined drug toxicity."
The orders also suggest the people were witness to some of the medications that the defendants were prescribing/administering to Smith. Smith died Feb. 8, 2007 in a Florida hotel room.
Two doctors, Sandeep Kapour and Khristine Eroshevich, and Howard K. Stern, Smith's lawyer boyfriend, are charged with numerous criminal offenses in connection to the untimely death of the actress. Prosecutors allege the trio prescribed and/or administered drugs to Smith which eventually killed her.
It has been reported that Anna Nicole Smith stayed at the Shelley's home for a period of time in 2006, and she also stayed at a Gaither family-owned home for some period of time.
Ford Shelley's daughter is said to be the one talking to and painting Smith's face in the now-famous video of Smith dressed as a clown and acting incoherent. Horry County Deputy Solicitor Jimmy Richardson said that video was shot in the Bahamas.
Smith stayed for a period in the Bahamas at a home that was owned by Thompson Sr., though there is pending litigation concerning the ownership of that home.
All of the Horry County residents are expected to be flown to California to testify in the trial as early as Sept. 1, 2010.
The trial against the defendants began last week, and it continued on Monday.
In his second day on the witness stand, Anna Nicole Smith's bodyguard faced defense efforts to show he changed his story about the role that the Smith's lawyer boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, played in supplying her with prescription drugs.
Maurice Brighthaupt returned to the stand Monday in the midst of a piercing cross-examination by Steve Sadow, the lawyer for Howard K. Stern. Attorneys for the two doctors on trial with Stern will also get a chance to question him.
The hulking bodyguard, who said Smith was like a sister to him, acknowledged Friday that the stories he told immediately after her death were lies. He said he was trying to protect her reputation.
Dr. Khristine Eroshevich, Dr. Sandeep Kapoor and Stern have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to give Smith excessive amounts of opiates and sedatives.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.