Bellaire Murder For Hire Case Dropped

Jeffrey Stern mugshot. Photo: Sheriff's Office / HC
An unusual murder for hire case has been dropped by Harris County prosecutors. Jeff Stern was charged with attempting to have his wife killed — but the DA's office now say there isn't enough evidence to take the case to trial.

Three times, hired killers attempted to murder Yvonne Stern at her home, and three times the attempts were unsuccessful.

Prosecutors accused Yvonne's husband Jeff Stern and his mistress of hiring the hit men.

Stern was scheduled to go to trial this Friday, but now the Harris County District Attorney's Office has dropped the
charges.

David Benzion is with the DA's office and read a prepared statement on behalf of Assistant DA Jim Leitner.

"The Harris County District Attorney's office has a duty to not simply prosecute, but to seek justice. This has been a case in which the evidence has continuously evolved. We have remained true to our mission by examining information objectively, weighing our decisions carefully and acting prudently. Ultimately, we have come to the conclusion that at this point, the available evidence is not sufficient to justify taking this case to trial."

New evidence indicates Stern's former mistress may have a prior history of murder attempts and murder for hire plots.

Stern's lawyer, Paul Nugent, says the family is ready to move on.

"I think they did their job, the District Attorney's office reevaluated all their evidence and again decided that justice would best be served by dismissing all charges against Jeff Stern."

From the beginning, Yvonne Stern defended her husband and said she believed he was not involved in the attempts on her life.

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Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...