Mistrial declared in murder-for-hire case targeting Bellaire socialite

November 4, 2011 1:20:08 PM PDT
The jury in the trial of an accused hitman spent the day deliberating, but they were unable to reach a verdict. Prosecutors say Damian Flores shot Bellaire socialite Yvonne Stern after being hired by her husband's mistress, Michelle Gaiser.

Flores is accused of attempted capital murder. In closing arguments, the defense drove home the fact that Yvonne Stern first identified a different man as the shooter. Prosecutors maintained in closing arguments that Flores was part of the murder-for-hire plot hatched by Yvonne's husband, Jeffrey Stern, and his mistress at that time, Michelle Gaiser.

While deliberating today, jurors asked to be read back testimony from both Yvonne Stern and Officer Segelski regarding the live lineup from which Flores was picked. Just before 3pm, the jury was reportedly hung and unable to reach a unamimous decision. Just a few minutes later, a mistrial was declared.

Reporter Cynthia Cisneros is at the courthouse and will report live beginning with Eyewitness News at 4pm.

ABC News' Ryan Owens sat down with Yvonne Stern's sisters yesterday to talk about the woman at the center of this case, a woman who filed for divorce from Jeffrey Stern, but then changed her mind.

"There's many men that have affairs, but of course their women are not attempted to be murdered. But this is a very unique situation," said Yvonne's sister, Liz Tenczynski. "It's an affair, an as and basically that is how she sees it -- as an affair. She forgives him for the affair. She doesn't believe he had anything to do with the plot."

If he had been convicted, Flores could have faced life in prison. It's not yet known if prosecutors will retry Flores.

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