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Wednesday
Nov022011

Houston Murder-for-Hire Mistress Testifies at Alleged Hitman's Trial

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- The Houston woman who has confessed to hiring a hitman to murder her lover's wife testified at the alleged killer's trial that she gave him $15,000 in cash and told him where and when to gun down the woman.

Michelle Gaiser told the jury how she arranged to have Houston socialite Yvonne Stern murdered in her car while it was parked in the lot of her apartment building.  The mistress of Yvonne Stern's husband, millionaire attorney Jeffrey Stern, spent the entire day on the stand, sobbing nearly the entire time.

"I made a horrible mistake, and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel ashamed of what I have done," Gaiser, taking the stand in her jail jumpsuit, told the court.

Jeffrey Stern has been indicted on solicitation of capital murder charges, while five other people, including Gaiser, have been charged in the plot.  Prosecutors are presenting a case that Gaiser plotted with Jeffrey Stern to pay alleged hitman Damien Flores to shoot his wife.

Jeffrey Stern is denying this allegation -- and his wife believes him.

"I love my husband.  I believe in him wholeheartedly, of his innocence.  He had nothing to do with this, and he could not do anything with this.  We are victims of a fatal attraction," Yvonne Stern said.

Gaiser is the star witness in the trial against Flores, who is accused of shooting Yvonne Stern in the stomach as she sat in her Cadillac SUV in May of last year.

The tearful victim testified Monday that she begged Flores for her life that day, but that he took a few steps away, turned around, and fired through the glass.

Flores' attorney told jurors Monday that Stern initially identified another man -- who had worked on the Sterns' home -- as her assailant.  She later identified Flores from a line-up.

He was allegedly the third hitman hired to kill Yvonne Stern in four months.

Gaiser admitted to the jury that she told Flores where Stern lived, what type of car she drove and when she would be alone.  She said that she gave him Flores $15,000 in cash in an envelope as a down payment on the murder.

In exchange for her testimony, Gaiser made a deal with prosecutors in which pleading guilty to solicitation of capital murder led to a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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