Bahamas to hold inquest in death of Daniel Smith

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NASSAU, Sep 24 (Reuters) The long-awaited inquest in the Bahamas into the death of the son of former Playboy Playmate Anna Nicole Smith will begin on October 30, and could last two months, a senior judge in the Bahamas said today.

Bahamas Chief Magistrate Roger Gomez said at least 35 witnesses were expected to give evidence, including Smith's longtime lawyer and companion, Howard K Stern. The inquest would be conducted by Magistrate William Campbell, he added.

Smith's son, Daniel, 20, died at Doctors Hospital, Nassau, on September 10 last year, just three days after his mother gave birth to a daughter, Dannielynn.

A private autopsy found he had a cocktail of drugs in his bloodstream. An official inquest by Bahamian authorities has been repeatedly postponed.

Smith, a former topless dancer once married to late billionaire oil tycoon J Howard Marshall, died in Florida last February of an accidental prescription drug overdose and is buried alongside her son at Lakeview Cemetery in Nassau.

Her death touched off a battle for custody of her daughter, Dannielynn, who could one day inherit a fortune if her late mother's estate wins the right to inherit some of Marshall's millions. Los Angeles photographer Larry Birkhead eventually won custody.

REUTERS GT HT2147

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