A fair deal?
Yvonne Stern lashes out at 20-year sentence for "murderous mistress" MichelleGaiser
Yvonne Stern called Michelle Gaiser an animal, a monster, a career criminal and a killer in her victim impact statement on Friday, urging a judge to reject Gaiser's plea agreement for a 20-year sentence for solicitation of capital murder.
Gaiser is the former mistress of Yvonne's husband, Jeffrey Stern, and her sentencing ends a three-year drama that included three shooting attacks by three different hired gunmen targeting Yvonne Stern, one of which seriously injured her.
Since then Stern — dubbed the "Bellaire socialite" by the national media — has also seen the arrests of Gaiser and Jeffrey Stern for masterminding the murder plot and filed for divorce from her husband before deciding on a controversial reconciliation.
"(Michelle Gaiser) has robbed my children of the innocence of youth. As outrageous as her conduct, it is made far worse by the DA's coddling of her," Stern said.
After confessing to hiring the trio of hitmen, Gaiser was supposed to be the star witness tying Jeffrey Stern to the murder scheme. But since her arrest stories of previous murder attempts and evidence of a planned hit on her former lover have been leaked, leading prosecutors to dismiss all charges against Jeffrey Stern for lack of evidence on Tuesday.
Gaiser could have received a maximum sentence of 40 years for solicitation for capital murder. Instead assistant district attorney Kari Allen agreed to a 20-year sentence, the same amount of time a jury imposed on the gunman who shot and wounded Stern.
Yvonne Stern's lawyer Chip Lewis told the Houston Chronicle that prosecutors had promised his client that they would seek the full 40-year sentence, and during the sentencing hearing she responded to the plea deal with anger.
"Her attempts to kill me will forever haunt me and my children. My children are afraid to let me out of their sight and fear what this murderer will do to us if given a chance. She has robbed my children of the innocence of youth. As outrageous as her conduct, it is made far worse by the DA's coddling of her. Kari Allen treated this killer like her best friend — she catered meals for her, she ordered books for her, she let her use a Harris County computer to check her bank accounts, she arranged for her family to have private meetings with this killer in her office," Stern said in part.
"Despite receiving this royal treatment, the animal attempted to have my husband killed just a few weeks ago. Her plan was to kill my husband in a fashion that I would be the only suspect. Kari Allen refused to prosecute this latest solicitation of capital murder. Kari Allen tried to pacify me by revoking the 25-year prison cap that was offered before trying to frame me for my husband's death, by telling me that deal was now off the table and this killer would not be offered anything less than 40 years in prison. I feel completely betrayed by Kari Allen and Pat Lykos for making this crooked deal."
"From the day she was arrested, Ms. Gaiser cooperated with investigators and prosecutors. Critically, she was our only source for the identity of the gunman who shot Mrs. Stern," said prosecutor Kari Allen.
In response, Allen released a brief statement about the plea arrangement.
"From the day she was arrested, Ms. Gaiser cooperated with investigators and prosecutors. Critically, she was our only source for the identity of the gunman who shot Mrs. Stern. A jury eventually gave that gunman a 20-year sentence. Ms. Gaiser is receiving an equally harsh 20-year sentence, as well as a conviction that will eventually result in her deportation."
The judge declined to reject the deal, and Gaiser's 20-year sentence will stand. Is this the end of the drama for the Bellaire socialite? One can only hope so.