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Stern's Lawyer: Opri Called Howard a "Killer"

2/20/2007 12:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

In a sharp and intensely personal accusation, Howard K. Stern's lawyer Krista Barth complained to Judge Larry Seidlin that Larry Birkhead's lawyer Deb Opri, sitting just a few feet from Stern, accused him of "killing" Anna Nicole Smith during court proceedings this morning.

As Barth spoke, Stern glared for several moments in the direction of Opri and Birkhead -- the two men and their attorneys are seated right next to each other in Broward County courtroom. Opri's response -- if she did in fact respond -- was not audible.

Barth made her comment as lawyers for multiple parties in the case introduced their various pleadings. Shortly thereafter, the court went into recess for a hearing on Virgie Arthur's status as next of kin to her granddaughter Dannielynn. As of 11:00 AM EST, the court is still in recess.

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