HOUSTON A woman accused of hiring a hit man to kill a Bellaire socialite faced a judge Friday morning in Houston.
Michelle Gaiser has been charged with solicitation of capital murder in the shooting of Yvonne Stern, wife of prominent Houston attorney Jeffrey Stern.
After her initial arrest at a Bellaire office building Wednesday, Gaiser posted a $100,000 bond. But after that, she was re-arrested, and the judge on Friday raised her bond to $500,000.
Prosecutors said Gaiser tried to hire someone to kill Yvonne Stern three times.
In one of the incidents, on April 15, Stern was in her Bellaire home when someone knocked on the door and shot through the glass, police said.
In the most recent incident on May 5, police said Stern was shot in the stomach while in her car at an apartment complex in the 4600 block of N. Braeswood.
Prosecutor Kari Allen on Friday said they were still working to determine if the same shooter was responsible for all of the incidents.
She said there were multiple people involved in the plot, and more arrests are expected.
I don t know that we have the motive right now. It s been my experience in these kind of cases that it s either money, business or a love triangle, Allen said. This was much more complicated and had many more players involved than most.
Allen said Gaiser has admitted to police that she provided money to have Yvonne Stern killed.
Allen said they also have recordings of conversations between Gaiser and one of the suspected players in the hit.
There were two wired conversations that she had with one of the middlemen in which she talked about an original hit and then having someone else executed also, Allen said.
As of now, prosecutors said they do not believe Yvonne Stern knew Gaiser, but they haven t been able to verify if there was any kind of relationship between Gaiser and Jeffrey Stern.
Yvonne Stern was seriously injured in the May 5 shooting and was still recovering, family and prosecutors said.
Physically, she is recovering very well, but right now, of course, she is emotionally devastated, Allen said.
Yvonne Stern s sister spoke to reporters Friday at the courthouse, asking for privacy. Liz Tenczynski said she and other family members were there in support of Yvonne Stern.
We would like to thank to Houston Police Department for their hard work in apprehending these perpetrators. We thank them, and of course the district attorney s office, for all that they ve done, Tenczynski said.
Tencynzski said her sister was healing as well as can be expected.
She s been injured very severely with this and of course, we want to be there with her as a family, Tencynzski said. We will be following this very carefully and expect that justice will prevail.