After 13 days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in the drug conspiracy trial against defendants Howard K. Stern, Dr. Kristine Eroshevich and Dr. Sandeep Kapoor. The jury alerted Judge Perry that they reached a decision and read the verdicts yesterday afternoon. The jury first announced the acquittal of Dr. Sandeep Kapoor on all charges. Shortly after, the jury announced that Howard K. Stern had been found guilty on two felony counts of conspiracy – giving false names and acting by fraud to obtain prescriptions. Smith’s psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich was convicted of the same two conspiracy charges and was also found guilty on two additional charges of “prescribing and furnishing sedatives and opiates to an addict.” Sentencing for Stern and Eroshevich is scheduled for January 6, 2011. A spokeswoman from the District Attorney’s office indicated that “both defendants are looking at possible maximum of at least three years in state prison.” Stay tuned for more analysis on the case and this interesting verdict!
According to the latest update from the Associated Press, the jury is asking questions about particular elements of charges against the defendants. The jurors’ written notes indicate that they are struggling to reach a verdict. Judge Perry has instructed them to declare a hung jury if they cannot reach a unanimous decision. Perry even invited the jurors back for additional legal guidance or re-read of testimonies, if needed. But as of now, there is no indication of when this may or may not happen. Stay tuned for the latest!