Howard K. Stern was expected to be formally sentenced in court today after being convicted by a jury of his peers last year on charges of conspiracy.
Instead, in a shocking turn of events, the judge threw out the case.
Despite a conviction on charges related to Anna Nicole Smith's death - prosecutors argued, and a jury concurred, that he conspired to fuel the late model's drug habit - Stern's conviction was baseless in the mind of the judge, who tossed it.
FREE MAN: Howard K. Stern was (somehow) vindicated today.
This marked a repudiation of sorts for newly-inaugurated California Gov. Jerry Brown, who spent millions as Attorney General going after Stern in the case.
Judge Robert Perry found that Stern never had criminal intentions when he used his name and others to protect Smith's privacy in obtaining prescriptions.
Perry also found that Dr. Khristine Eroshevich was acting out of concern for Smith in doing the same and commuted her sentence to a year of probation.The ruling marks the denouement of a long-running drama centering on the blonde beauty's troubled life, which was stranger than any fiction you'll read.
In addition to the legal case against Stern, he and Larry Birkhead were locked in a battle to claim paternity of Smith's daughter Dannielynn (Larry won).
Years before she passed away, Anna Nicole Smith was involved in an epic battle for the nine-figure estate of her late husband, J. Howard Marshall.
What do you think? Should Stern's conviction have been upheld?