Thursday, February 15, 2007

Smith Judge Seidlin Orders DNA Swab Test 1 PM

Net the Truth Online Report
from watching Court TV, MSNBC, and CNN Headline News Live coverage.

Broward County, Florida (17th Judicial Circuit Court) Judge Hon. Larry Seidlin orders Broward County medical examiner, Dr. Joshua Perper, to take a cheek swab sample for DNA testing of Anna Nicole Smith's body at 1:00 PM today, February 15, 2007.

The counsels involved will not be able to be present in the examination room, however, they will be able to conduct a review in a separate area. The review can take place in a separate medical room as early as 2:00 PM also today.

Proceedings in the case center around the release and disposition of Anna Nicole Smith's body.

On February 8th, Anna Nicole Smith, 39, died after collapsing at a Florida hotel.

Before Smith's death, Larry Birkhead had wanted to determine his own paternity of Smith's daughter, Dannielynn Hope.

Debra Opri, Birkhead's attorney, has appeared on numerous network programs to espouse the need for the paternity test. Opri spoke by telephone during the proceedings while two of Birkhead's counsel team were present in the room.

Dr. Joshua Perper had expressed his satisfaction earlier in the court proceedings that there was adequate sampling for additional and future DNA testing already taken.

Under questioning from Birkhead's counsel, Dr. Perper revealed one sample had not been taken, a swab of Anna Nicole Smith's mouth.

There was some discussion concerning a sampling taken for the purposes of determining presence of cocaine. Indication was that might not be adequate at a later time.

Perper said toxicological tests were ongoing with results in one to three weeks.

Birkhead's counsel was also able to present its own medical expert on-hand for review of existing DNA samples. Dr. Michael Baird of DNA Consulting, according to a Court TV reporter.

The existing DNA samples at first appeared on the way to being agreed to by all, until the revelation the swab sample had not been taken.

Birkhead's counsel weighed in on that issue by questioning their medical expert.

Judge Larry Seidlin throughout the proceedings indicated of utmost importance was the child, Anna Nicole Smith's five-month old daughter, Dannielynn.

Seidlin said, I have a duty, and with the help of the Lord I am going to do my duty.

At one point, Judge Seidlin indicated he believed there was a necessity to determine paternity.

"We need to know who the biological father is, don't we?" Seidlin's tone was rhetorical.

Seidlin indicated a chain of custody for the body beginning with next-of-kin, which supposes Smith's daughter, Dannielynn.

The biological father would be next in line as the legal custodian of Dannielynn.

Early in the proceedings, Judge Seidlin said he appointed a lawyer, Richard Millstein, who is to be the guardian ad litim for the child. He called Millstein at 6:30 am this morning.

Judge Seidlin said in sober terms he wanted to satisfy his heart and his conscience. There's a method to this madness, Seidlin said. He's putting things in place and is going to tighten this up.

After over three hours of testimony and discussion, Seidlin obtained an agreement from Dr. Perper that the mouth-swab sample could be readily obtained, today.

Dr. Perper weighed in with how the sample would be taken, in a separate room, not the autopsy room where Smith's body rested. Perper indicated he didn't want the media or anyone to get images of the deceased Smith.

Judge Seidlin ordered the sample to be taken under normal procedures, though counsel and apparently Dr. Baird could be present in a separate room near the medical examiner's room.

Present in the room notably were Anna Nicole Smith's mother Vergie Arthur, an attorney for Arthur, attorneys for Larry Birkhead, with his attorney Debra Opri weighing in via speakerphone, and attorneys for Howard K. Stern, and apparently, counsel for Anna Nicole Smith.

For video of the proceedings in part see

Chicago Sun Times

DNA TEST ORDER ON SMITH'S BODY Judge orders test to determine paternity of Smith's baby

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