Cynthia Sommer, who was back in the news last week announcing a $20 million lawsuit, hit the red carpet this weekend, sort of.
Sommer was freed last year after originally being convicted of killing her Marine husband, Todd. Her lawyers filed a $20 million civil lawsuit on Thursday against the federal government, the county medical examiner and the county district attorney's office, claiming that conviction violated her civil rights and now follows her everywhere.
Two days later, photographer Jerod Harris caught up with the widow at the Hotel Solamar in downtown on Saturday night while shooting photos for the San Diego Film Festival's Actor's Ball. Harris said Sommer approached him and introduced herself, then asked him if he knew who she was. He told her he did not and said that she then gave him a brief rundown of her case and asked him to take a series of photographs of her, and he obliged.
Harris said that instead of walking out the door that all the guests used to leave, Sommer walked down the "red carpet" used by the actors/celebrities. According to Harris, Sommer was expecting photographers to take pictures of her.
"Every person, every friend I meet, every place I go, you know, I wonder, is someone looking at me because they know what's happened? Are they judging me?" Sommer said last week at a news conference about her suit.
Or maybe, just maybe, they're looking at you because you asked them to take your photo on the red carpet at a film festival.
Sommer spent more than two years in jail, charged with poisoning her 23-year-old husband to cash in on his military death benefit. She was convicted in 2007 but a year later was granted a new trial.
The government dropped its case in April 2008 when new tests showed no arsenic in Todd Sommer's preserved tissues. Sommer walked out of prison with a smile, but now she says she's still not free. Because she was never actually acquitted, she could be charged again. A hearing on that matter was held Friday, during which a judge refused to dismiss the case with prejudice, so, technically, she could still be retried.
"You know, it's like you start to feel like things are getting better, and then something happens, and it's like you're starting at square one," she said Thursday referring to recent legal troubles that are not resolved to her satisfaction.
The district attorney's office did not want to comment on the lawsuit.