Anna Nicole Smith - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/21/07 - Florida

Anna Nicole Smith

The courtroom battle over who should get the remains of Anna Nicole Smith took on a new urgency today (Wednesday).

With the medical examiner saying that Smith's body is deteriorating quickly, both sides made a trip to the morgue for what could be their last look at the former model. "If additional time would pass by it would be much more difficult to show the body," said Joshua Perper, Broward County Medical Examiner.

Smith's estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, returned to the stand...claiming her daughter did not want to be buried next to her son Daniel, in the Bahamas...like Smith's partner Howard K. Stern has testified.

She says 39 year old Smith stated years ago that she wanted to be laid to rest in her native Texas, in a family plot. "You have no idea what your daughter's intentions are as to where she wanted to be laid to rest?," asked Krista Barth, attorney for Stern. "Not except when she was at home she said she wanted to be buried in Texas. We were all going to be buried in Texas. She was a Texas girl," replied Arthur.

During sometimes heated and emotional testimony, Arthur blamed Stern and drugs for the rift between her and her daughter and denied allegations she's trying to profit from Smith's death. "The only person who ever made money off of my daughter is that man right there. That's why he wants her body, for a million bucks," testified Arthur.

Arthur also linked the deaths of her daughter and grandson Daniel and said she's afraid for her granddaughter as long as she's in Stern's custody.

The judge promises a decision by Friday.

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