Woman arrested, charged in connection with shooting of Bellaire socialite

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by khou.com staff

khou.com

Posted on June 10, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 11 at 1:53 PM

HOUSTON – A woman has been charged in connection with the shooting of a Bellaire socialite.

Michelle Gaiser was arrested at a Bellaire office building Wednesday and charged with solicitation of capital murder.

Police believe Gaiser paid a construction contractor to kill Yvonne Stern, wife of prominent Houston attorney Jeffrey Stern.

Yvonne Stern was shot in the stomach at an apartment complex in the 4600 block of N. Braeswood on May 5.

Police said Stern was targeted in another shooting on April 15. In that case, the shooter knocked on the front door of her Bellaire home and fired through the window. Stern wasn’t hit, but she moved to the apartment on Braeswood because she feared for her safety, investigators said.

After the May 5 shooting, witnesses said Yvonne Stern drove up to a Citgo service station on 610 at N. Braeswood with a shattered window and a bloody shirt.

"She was sitting there, saying ‘I’ve been shot. I’ve been shot,’" said Freddie Romero, the mechanic who first spotted her.

While someone called 911, Romero said Stern told him a contractor had pulled the trigger.

"The contractor tried to rip her off," he said.

Police released a sketch of the suspect in the April 15 shooting.

Investigators on Thursday said that suspect has not been arrested.

It was unclear if that suspect was the same man thought to have pulled the trigger in the May 5 shooting.

Gaiser was out on $100,000 bond Thursday.

Her relationship with Yvonne Stern was not known, but police said Gaiser does know Jeffrey Stern.

"In a case where someone is in a murder-for-hire, we always look at familial relationships, business relationships. We’re investigating it totally, and everyone is being looked at," prosecutor Kari Allen said.

Jeffrey Stern was also arrested Wednesday at an office building at 6750 West Loop South.  He was charged with an unrelated misdemeanor of carrying a weapon without a concealed handgun license, police said.

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