HOUSTON – Defense attorneys dropped yet another bombshell Tuesday in the case of a prominent Bellaire lawyer accused of hiring a hit man to kill his socialite wife.
Prosecutors claim Jeffrey Stern and his former mistress, Michelle Gaiser, conspired to have Yvonne Stern killed back in 2010.
But now, defense attorneys claim Gaiser, who pleaded guilty to charges of solicitation of capital murder in exchange for her testimony against her former lover and a reduced sentence, has been plotting a hit on Jeffrey Stern from her jail cell.
Standing with the Sterns outside their Bellaire home Tuesday morning, attorney Paul Nugent said Gaiser wrote a letter about the hit to another female inmate. Nugent said they found out about the letter last month.
In the letter, Nugent said Gaiser wrote that Jeffrey Stern’s death should be made to look like a "robbery gone bad." The letter also reportedly included a hand-drawn map of Jeffrey Stern’s day-to-day routine.
"Obviously, a close-range shot didn’t get rid of the wife, so you have to finish elsewhere to finish it …. A knife in the neck, get the carotid artery, and it’s over," the letter reportedly read.
Nugent said Gaiser wrote that the hit should be "clean," insisting in her letter that "This can’t come back to you or me. I can’t face another count of this."
In the note, Nugent said Gaiser also gave instructions on when the hit should take place.
"Once you get the money, don’t do it right away. My people will think, ‘Hmm, she just dropped 10 G’s and now this dude is gone,’" Gaiser reportedly wrote.
Gaiser’s attorney, Deborah Keyser, released a statement about the allegations against her client Tuesday.
"Although we’ve just been made aware of these latest allegations and are just beginning to investigate them, I can certainly understand the frustration and fear that Michelle could be feeling," Keyser said. "She knows better than anyone that the entire scheme against Yvonne was concocted by Jeffrey Stern, and yet he has just thrown her under the bus and continues to lie and absolve himself of any responsibility for his actions."
Back in 2010, there were three attempts on Yvonne Stern’s life. She was shot in the stomach during the final attack.
Yvonne Stern filed for divorce after the ordeal, but it was never finalized. She’s since reunited with Jeffrey Stern and has stood by him during all of the court proceedings. She does not believe he had anything to do with the plot against her.
"Today, because of all that we’ve been through, our marriage is stronger than it’s ever been," Stern told Texas Monthly Executive Editor Skip Hollandsworth in January. "It’s full of love, it’s full of honesty, and it’s full of forgiveness."
Though he and his wife put on a brave face at the press conference Tuesday, off-camera, Jeffrey Stern told KHOU 11 News that he fears for his life – and that he’s afraid Gaiser wants him dead before the trial begins in July.
Jeffrey Stern’s trial was postponed in April by State District Judge Denise Bradley, so the defense could have time to look over evidence brought forth by prosecutors about Gaiser.
The trial, which was initially scheduled to begin on April 13, 2012, was rescheduled for July 27, 2012.
Stern’s attorney claims the FBI is looking into the letter, but the FBI would not confirm that Tuesday.
The District Attorney’s Office also said they are aware of the letter and are investigating.