Nov. 1, 2011 -- The Houston woman who prosecutors say was targeted in a murder-for-hire plot in which her husband was indicted testified on the first day of the trial of one of several people charged.
Bellaire socialite Yvonne Stern survived three attempts on her life, but when she left court Monday after giving her testimony, she spoke out in defense of her husband. Prosecutors claim Jeffrey Stern and his mistress, Michelle Cabrera Gaiser, plotted to kill Yvonne Stern.
They've indicted him on solicitation of capital murder charges. Five other people, including Gaiser, have been charged in the plot.
The Sterns left court holding hands, and Yvonne Stern paused to tell reporters that she loved her husband and had forgiven him for "his indiscretions."
"He had nothing to do with this and could not do anything with this. We are victims of a fatal attraction," she said. Her husband, a prominent Houston attorney, said nothing.
On the stand, Stern cried when she described being shot as she sat in her SUV in the parking garage of her apartment last year. The suspect, Damian Flores, is up on capital murder charges.
"He jumped out of his car and came charging at me with a gun. He had a pair of mirrored aviators. He didn't run. He walked and came charging at me," Stern said of the gunman, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK TV in Houston.
Flores' attorney told jurors that Stern initially identified another man -- who had worked on the Sterns' home -- as her assailant. She later identified Flores from a line-up.
Three Attempts on Her Life
Jeffrey Stern has denied the allegations against him.
Yvonne Stern had started divorce proceedings, citing adultery, but later changed her mind and reconciled with her husband.
Cabrera has reportedly agreed to a plea deal and is expected to testify in Flores' trial.
The first attempt to kill Stern was a drive-by shooting at the couple's Houston home in February 2010. The house was sprayed with bullets, but Stern, who has two children, wasn't home.
Two months later, a man shot at her through the glass in the door but missed. The entire family was at home, but no one was hurt. Following the second incident, the family moved to an apartment for safety, but someone tracked Stern down there.
In May 2010, she was sitting in her car in the parking garage at the apartment when a man -- allegedly Flores -- approached her window with a gun leveled at her head. She begged and pleaded through the window, telling the gunman about her children and a new grandchild.
The gunman seemed to have a change of heart, lowering the gun from her head to her abdomen. He hesitated, then shot her in the stomach. She slumped over, played dead, and, bleeding, drove herself to the nearest gas station for help, her attorney has said.
Another man, Nhut Nguyen, has already been tried for his role in the plot. Nguyen was sentenced in August to 45 years in prison for shooting at Stern at her home.