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HOUSTON A man charged with plotting to kill a Bellaire socialite has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to solicitation of capital murder.

Richard Gutierrez pleaded guilty just hours before his trial was to begin. Three other suspects have yet to stand trial.

Yvonne Stern, 52, was shot on May 5 while walking to her vehicle in the 4500 block of North Braeswood it was one of three attempts on her life, investigators said. According to prosecutors, the shootings were the result of a murder-for-hire plot initiated by Michelle Gaiser, a woman who was having an affair with Stern s husband, prominent Houston attorney Jeffrey Stern.

Prosecutors charged Gaiser and two other people, James Lowery and Nhut Nguyen in the case.

Nguyen is accused of shooting at Yvonne Stern through the window of her Bellaire home on April 15. He was charged with aggravated assault, while the others were charged with solicitation of capital murder.

Prosecutors said Gaiser offered Gutierrez $20,000 to kill the socialite. Gutierrez told police he then approached his brother, Adam, about the hit.

According to court records, the brothers took $13,000 from Gaiser, and then Adam attempted to extort more money.

My understanding ... is that Adam was supposed to have done one of the hits on Yvonne but didn t, and instead extorted money from Michelle, Assistant District Attorney Kari Allen said.

Investigators said that angered Gaiser, so she approached Gutierrez again, this time about killing his brother.

We never thought Richard wanted to have Adam killed, said Allen. That was just a conversation he had... Richard never intended to have his brother killed.

Gutierrez also told investigators that neither he nor his brother ever actually tried to kill Stern.

Jeffrey Stern admitted having an affair, but told police he had nothing to do with the alleged plots against his wife. Yvonne Stern later filed for divorce, citing adultery.

The couple has two children, ages 12 and 14.

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