HOUSTON A Bellaire socialite targeted in a complex murder-for-hire plot cried on the witness stand Monday as she described the minutes before and after she was shot in the stomach last May.
I said, I m not opening the door, what do you want, said Yvonne Stern from the witness stand.
She was testifying in the trial of 28-year-old Damian Flores, one of six people accused of trying to kill her.
He charged out of his car when he saw me. He came straight at me, pointing the gun directly at me, Stern testified. What did I do? I begged for my life.
Flores is charged with attempted capital murder and retaliation.
Prosecutors say he shot Stern in the stomach in May 2010 the third attempt on her life.
I was wondering what was going on, she said.
It happened at an apartment complex in Meyerland, where she had been staying with her children because of the previous attempts on her life.
He stood there the entire time with the gun at my head, Stern told jurors. He turned, looked at me, and then he shot at me.
Stern was able to drive herself to a nearby gas station, where she collapsed. She spent eight days in the hospital.
Initially, Stern identified another man as the triggerman, but on the stand said she s confident Flores shot her.
I made a mistake. I was in shock. I was shot. I almost died, she said as she sat in front of Flores. This is the man that shot me.
Defense attorneys believe they will prove that prosecutors have the wrong man on trial.
I just hope everyone reserves judgment to the very end, until they hear all the evidence because obviously this thing is not as it seems, said defense attorney Sam Cammack. I think my client is innocent and I think I ll be able to show it by the end of the trial.
Prosecutors contend that Stern s attorney husband, Jeffrey Stern, asked his mistress, Michelle Gaiser, to find someone to kill his wife for $10,000.
Jeffrey Stern, Gaiser, James Lowery and Richard Gutierrez are also charged with solicitation of capital murder in the case.
Gaiser is expected to plead guilty to solicitation of capital murder and testify against Damian Flores. Her sentence will be capped at 25 years.
The sixth suspect, Nhut Nguyen, was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to 45 years in prison for his role in the plot back in August.
After she was shot, Yvonne Stern filed for divorce, but she and her husband have since gotten back together.
I just want to say I love my husband, said Stern has she left the courtroom walking, hand in hand with Jeffrey Stern. I believe in him whole heartedly of his innocence. He has nothing to do with this. He couldn t have done anything like this. We are victims of a fatal attraction and I look forward to them prosecuting the proper people.