It's been 11 days of deliberations and still the jury in the Anna Nicole Smith case has not returned with a verdict. Soon, the judge may declare a mistrial.
In the event that happens, the defendants are not off the hook as if they were found not guilty, but it's up to the D.A. as to whether to try the case again.
The jury sent questions to the judge Wednesday that indicated they are unable to agree on some of charges against Howard K. Stern and two doctors.
Anna Nicole Smith (1967-2007).
"What should we do if we are unable to come to a verdict on a count or an object crime?" the jury asked in a written question to the presiding judge.
"If you can't reach a verdict, then you can't reach a verdict," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert Perry responded to the conflicted jury.
Judge Perry encouraged jurors to ask more questions or request a "read back" of testimony before he officially declares the jury hung on a verdict.
The case against Smith's boyfriend-lawyer Stern and two doctors, Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich is complicated, to say the very least.It involves three conspiracy charges and eight other counts, leaving the jurors two months of testimony and hundreds of pieces of evidence to consider.
Stern, Kapoor and Eroshevich are charged with conspiring to feed the Playboy model's drug addiction and using false names to obtain Smith's drugs.
The three defendants are not charged in Smith's February 2007 death in a Florida hotel, which a medical examiner ruled was an accidental overdose.
Smith died from a sleep aid combined with the effects of a viral flu.
The jury's second question suggests that at least one juror buys the prosecution's argument that one of the docs prescribed too many pills for Smith:
"If a juror were to believe prescriptions were written in excess, does it follow that those prescriptions also have no legitimate medical purpose?"
The case raised questions about ethical boundaries, the prescribing of painkillers and anti-anxiety medicines and the use of fake names for stars.
The defense called only one witness, an expert who concluded that Smith suffered from chronic pain, depression and anxiety, not drug addiction.
Her drug dependency was legal since it was for legitimate medical purposes, including for treatment of her pain and anxiety, the defense argued.
The prosecution countered that the doctors never said no to Smith's drug-seeking because they wanted to be part of her celebrity entourage.
Larry Birkhead, the father of Anna Nicole's baby Dannielynn, was not implicated in any of the alleged wrongdoing by the arrested trio.