Inquest Begins In Death Of Anna Nicole’s Son Daniel Smith

NASSAU, Bahamas (March 27, 2007) — An inquest into the death of Daniel Smith, Anna Nicole?s eldest child has begun in the Bahamas.A somber looking Larry Birkhead, Anna Nicole?s ex-boyfriend, arrived earlier today to give testimony.?I?m just here to give information that might assist the courts in the inquest today,? he told reporters gathered outside. ?It?s up to the judge to see if they think I have something that?s worthwhile that might help and assist . . . They can use my information in any way that they want and if it helps, it helps. If it doesn?t, it doesn?t.Daniel Smith died on September 10, 2006, three days after his mother gave birth to his sibling Dannielynn in the Bahamas. A private autopsy concluded the 20-year old died from the accidental effect of methadone and antidepressants Zoloft and Lexapro drugs interacting in his system.

Smith had reportedly been suffering depression related to a breakup with a girlfriend when he went to visit his mother and newborn half-sister in Nassau. Zoloft and Lexapro, which a U.S. doctor had prescribed, are antidepressants commonly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.

Dr. Cyril Wecht, who performed the private autopsy said he did not know why Smith was taking methadone, a pain-reliever that is also used to ease heroin cravings for recovering addicts.

“It is used for people who have been on heroin or morphine,” Wecht said from his home in the Pittsburgh area. “I have made those inquiries. I can only say to you no one has suggested anything having to do with drug addiction in this boy.”

A lawyer for Anna Nicole Smith said she hired Wecht, a forensic pathologist who gained fame as a consultant on celebrity cases including Elvis Presley’s death, to end speculation about her son’s death. Bahamian officials have been investigating Daniel?s death since last year, even traveling to California in October 2006 to conduct interviews.Earlier this morning, Birkhead said he was not the ?star witness,? but was at the inquest to help. ?I?m just here to do what I think is right to help Daniel,? he said.When asked what his reaction was to the released autopsy reports of his former girlfriend Anna Nicole Smith, which were released yesterday, Birkhead sighed.?There?s nothing they could say that?s gonna make me happy about it. It?s just one piece of the puzzle and I don?t think it?s over yet,? he said.Meanwhile, Anna Nicole?s mother, Virgie Arthur is also attending the inquest hearings in the Bahamas in order to seek ?justice,? for her grandson, she said.

Today, the hearings will continue as the lawyers take care of procedural matters in the courtroom. The inquest is expected to continue tomorrow and may take up to two months to complete, Access Hollywood has learned. Larry Birkhead left court and is not expected back this week.

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