Civil suit against husband's mistress pits Bellaire socialite against DA's office

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by Courtney Zubowski / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on May 2, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 2 at 10:41 PM

HOUSTON—A Bellaire socialite who’s suing her husband’s former mistress for allegedly trying to hire men to kill her was in a Harris County courtroom Wednesday asking a judge to make the former mistress talk to her civil attorneys.

Yvonne Stern was shot in the stomach in February of 2010. The shooting was one of several attempts on her life.

Prosecutors say Michelle Gaiser asked for the hits with the help of Stern’s husband, Bellaire attorney Jeffrey Stern.

Yvonne Stern has made it clear she is standing by her man and wants to donate any monies recovered from her civil lawsuit against Gaiser to the doctors and nurses at Ben Taub Hospital, who she says saved her life.

"I had always intended to sue her," Stern told KHOU 11 News. "And I don’t want any money. I plan to donate it."

But at issue right now is whether or not Michelle Gaiser can talk to Yvonne Stern’s civil attorneys before the trial of Jeffrey Stern.

Stern is accused of solicitation of capital murder. His trial is set for July 27, 2012.  Michelle Gaiser is the prosecution’s star witness, and the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and Gaiser’s criminal defense attorneys don’t want Gaiser to give a deposition until after the criminal trial.

"I can’t believe the DA’s office has forgotten that I was the victim," said Yvonne Stern. "I’m the victim here and I just want to ensure that my family and I receive full justice from this killer, from Michelle Gaiser."

A defense attorney for Stern says his client has lost all confidence in the DA’s office.

"I’ve never seen anything like this before where the District Attorney would join hand and hand with a killer despite the protestations of her victim," said Yvonne Stern’s attorney, Chip Lewis.

In court documents, prosecutors asked the judge to postpone the proposed deposition of Michelle Gaiser until after the criminal trial of Jeffrey Stern, because it will protect the state’s interest in conducting criminal trials.

Harris County Asst. District Attorney Kari Allen did not want to discuss the specifics of that request outside the courtroom Wednesday.

"It has gone on a while, and we’re hoping that with the trial of Jeffrey Stern on July 27th of this year it will all come to an end," said Allen.

The judge should make a decision by the end of the week.

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