A medical examiner has told an inquest that Anna Nicole Smith's son Daniel had to have died from an "intentional" overdose of methadone - but downplayed suicide as a possible explanation.
The quantity of methadone found in Smith's body indicated the ingestion of a large dose in a short time - something Dr. Lee Hern said, during testimony, was not consistent with the usual behavior of abusers.
"It's not common for people in recreational use to take large quantities all at once," Hern said. "In my study of drug abuse patients people don't take such a quantity of pills to get high. They take one or two and if the effects are not there they may take more."
Smith, according to Hern, showed no signs of methadone tolerance, meaning he was not a heavy user of the drug, and would therefore not have needed such a large dose to achieve the desired effect.
Hern all-but-discounted the possibility that Smith knowingly took the pills. To establish suicide, Hern said the case would need proof of "self destructive statements or suicidal thoughts heard by people that were close to [Smith]." There is no such evidence.
Hern then outlined how methadone could be dissolved in a liquid to mask its taste, meaning a person could take eight tablets - the number Smith is believed to have ingested - without even knowing it.
"So what we are left with is homicide," Hern flatly stated.
Howard K. Stern flushed methadone tablets down a toilet shortly after Smith's body was discovered.
Thursday, January 31, 2008