Yesterday, Judge Perry strongly advised prosecutors to simplify their charges against the three defendants. Perry warned that the case may be too complex for the jurors to understand and asked the prosecutors if they were “trying to impress the jury with so many charges.” The judge is giving the prosecution more time to “clean up” their allegations and has delayed closing arguments until Monday.
Perry also threw out 18 of the 39 overt acts supporting one of the conspiracy charges because he claimed they “included too many dates and involved actions that did not support a conspiracy.” Perry instructed the prosecution to eliminate more of the total 81 overt acts.
To make this complicated mess even worse, the defense “pointed out that some of the 11 counts may be misdemeanors, which are covered by a statute of limitations,” meaning they would have to be thrown out if they don’t meet time requirements.
Perry also rejected an “an 11th hour move by prosecutors to add Smith as an uncharged coconspirator in the alleged plan to provide her with excessive drugs.” Instead, he stated that evidence from the trial showed Smith was a “willing drug taker.”
UPDATE: Late yesterday, Judge Perry announced after consulting with a fellow judge, he has decided to have faith in the jury system. Despite dismissing two felony charges against Stern for obtaining drugs by fraud and deceit due to lack of evidence of the defendant’s intent, Stern will still face 9 felony charges. All of the 11 felony counts will go to the jury, but the defendants will face different charges.
As a result, Drs. Kapoor and Eroshevich each face 6 charges and Stern faces 9 which will go to the jury. Among other things, Eroshevich and Kapoor are charged with “conspiring to commit crimes which include unlawfully prescribing, administering and dispensing controlled substances to Smith.” Stern’s charges all involve counts related to providing Smith with powerful and potentially deadly drugs.