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A Strange Tale of Hit Men in Texas

HOUSTON (CN) - A woman seeks civil damages from her attorney-husband's former mistress, who has pleaded guilty to hiring hit men to kill the wife.

Yvonne Stern, wife of attorney Jeffrey Stern, sued Michelle Cabrera Gaiser in Harris County Court.

Gaiser, who is in jail, pleaded guilty to solicitation of capital murder, with a maximum 25-year prison sentence, in exchange for her testimony against Jeffery Stern and the hit men she hired to try to kill his wife, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.

Jeffrey Stern, whom the Chronicle describes as a prominent Bellaire attorney, also was charged with solicitation of capital murder, according to the Chronicle.

Bellaire is a Houston suburb.

The Chronicle reported that Yvonne filed for divorce after her husband admitted he was having an affair, "but the two have since reconciled. She regularly accompanies him to court, despite allegations that he masterminded the attempts on his wife's life," according to the Chronicle report.

In her 5-page lawsuit against Gaiser, Yvonee Stern says Gaiser was "operating under an unfounded delusion that if she killed Mrs. Stern she would then 'live happily ever-after,' with Mrs. Stern's husband, Jeffrey Stern. Acting out on her fantasy, defendant set in motion her devious plot to kill Mrs. Stern by hiring individuals to go to her home and shoot her. On two occasions (prior to May 5, 2010), defendant hired thugs that attempted to kill Mrs. Stern, placing her in an extraordinary state of fear for her life. Finally on May 5, 2010, Mrs. Stern was shot in the abdomen at close range and severely injured.

"Defendant's conduct was the proximate cause of Mrs. Stern's injuries and damages. "As a matter of fact, defendant's conduct and responsibility for Mrs. Stern's damages is not in dispute. Defendant has already pleaded guilty to solicitation of capital murder. Further Gaiser testified, under oath, that she paid a hit man a $15,000 down payment for him to kill Mrs. Stern."

Yvonne Stern seeks damages for assault, plus "unlimited punitive damages."

Gaiser's attorneys told the Chronicle that Yvonne Stern's lawsuit is "a 'back door' way for Jeffrey Stern's lawyers to find out what Gaiser knows before his pending trial," according to the newspaper report.

Yvonne Stern is represented by Dean Blumrosen.

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