Howard K. Stern, the former lawyer and domestic partner of deceased actress/heiress/Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith, suffered a blow Thursday in the ongoing legal saga over Smith's death, when a California court of appeal reversed his acquittal on two conspiracy charges.
In October, a judge reversed Stern's earlier conviction on two felony conspiracy charges related to obtaining drugs for Smith under false names, saying there was insufficient evidence.
The appeals court, reversed that decision Thursday, and also reversed the dismissal of charges against Dr. Khristine Elaine Eroshevich, who prescribed drugs for Smith in the period leading up to her death.
"As to defendant, Howard Kevin Stern, the new trial and dismissal orders are reversed," Thursday's ruling reads. "The verdicts as to counts 1 and 3 are ordered reinstated."
It's unclear what the next step is for Stern; according to the ruling, the trial court that ruled in October can dismiss on grounds other than insufficient evidence or impose sentence, but cannot retry Stern due to the rule of double jeopardy.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.