Ryan Gilbert was a guest panelist criminal defense attorney on the Fox News Channel for "Justice with Judge Jeanine" on June 16, 2012. Mr. Gilbert was asked to appear on the show to discuss three news stories: 1) the Murder-for-Hire trial against Houston attorney, Jeffrey Stern, in Texas; 2) a Homicide Investigation from Texas for a man who killed an acquaintance to protect his five-year old daughter against a sexual assault; and 3) the Multi-Million Dollar Will and Estate Contest between the late famed painter Thomas Kinkade's live-in girlfriend, Amy Pinto-Walsh, and Kinkade's estranged wife.
In the Murder-for-Hire case against Jeffrey Stern, the defendant is accused of conspiring with his former mistress to have his wife, Yvonne, killed by a hit man. Three attempts were made on Yvonne Stern's life, fortunately without success, although she was shot in the stomach. Jeffrey Stern's mistress, Michelle Gaiser, plead guilty to the attempted murder charges and turned State's witness in the prosecution against him. Stern later reconciled with his wife and she has stood by his side to defend against the attempted murder charges against him. Yvonne Stern does not believe her husband conspired to have her killed despite his admitted infidelities. Stern's defense attorney recently held a press conference after he came into possession of a document, which purportedly indicates Gaiser solicited another inmate to kill him.
As a panelist on Judge Jeanine Pirro's show, Mr. Gilbert offered his opinion that the State's case against Stern is severely compromised because assuming the letter is genuine, its star witness will have no credibility with the jury and the case will play out like a "love triangle gone bad." The defense can argue that Gaiser wanted Stern to herself so she tried to have his wife killed. Then, when Gaiser realized she could not have Stern, she tried to have him killed.
Of course, the defense will first have to get the letter soliciting Stern's murder admitted at trial by proving the handwriting matches Gaiser's. If the Judge admits the letter into evidence, then it would be virtually impossible for the State to convict Stern. Surprisingly, so far the State has refused to prosecute Gaiser for soliciting Jeffery Stern's murder, and is moving forward with its case against him.
Witness credibility is the most important element of a case where there is no other independent evidence linking a defendant to the crime. In these situations a criminal defense attorney can be the key to a defendant's freedom. The attorney must conduct a thorough investigation and be able to utilize effective cross-examination techniques and impeachment evidence against the witness.
If you or someone you love is charged with murder, assault, sexual assault, or any other crimes in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, New Brunswick, Freehold, or anywhere in New Jersey, you should contact me, an experienced East Brunswick Criminal Attorney, to discuss the case.