Sommer Battles D.A. in Bid to Block Possible Murder Retrial

Marine wife accused of poisoning her husband will get another hearing to request charges be officially dropped

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Cynthia Sommer, 33, is shown in court, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2007, in San Diego, Calif. Sommer, a Florida woman accused of poisoning her Marine husband with arsenic to cash in on his $250,000 life insurance policy, was convicted of murder on Tuesday.

    A woman's quest to avoid being retried on charges of fatally poisoning her Marine husband will get a hearing before the judge who dismissed her conviction.

    Cynthia Sommer spent nearly two and a half years behind bars until new evidence was presented.  Sommer's murder case became quite a sensation, with testimony about her paying for breast implants with proceeds from her late husband's life insurance policy then indulging in party-girl behavior, and sex with several men.

    Marine Widow Battles D.A.

    [DGO] Marine Widow Battles D.A.
    What a judge had to say to Cynthia Sommer request to have her case dismissed without prejudice.

    But the prosecution's evidence ultimately fell apart after Sommer was found guilty.
     
    "Well, I never lost any hope or my faith or anything.  You never really can give up when you're innocent," Sommer said on the morning after she was released from custody on the basis of new evidence.

    Tissue samples showed no traces of arsenic in the liver and kidneys of her late husband, Todd, who prosecutors claimed¤ was poisoned by Sommer so she could cash in his $250,000 life insurance policy.

    "The District Attorney knew all along that this exonerating evidence existed, and intentionally told the defense it didn't exist, and turned its back on this evidence, because it was willing to try to win before trying to do justice," said Allen Bloom Sommer's attorney.

    Sommer's lawyer now wants the case dismissed "with prejudice" -- meaning she could never be retried for murder.

    Friday he asked Judge John Einhorn, who dismissed it "without prejudice" to let him argue that motion before Judge Peter Deddeh, who presided over Sommer's trial and read the guilty verdict. But his request was denied.

    "I am not going to create new law.  I am not going to go beyond the statutory and case-law authority in California, because I can't,” said Einhorn.

    Sommer missed today's hearing because she couldn't afford plane fare from Michigan, where she's raising her four children.  But she plans to be back when the permanent dismissal motion is argued.

    The D-As office is not responding to Blooms accusations of misconduct. Prosecutors say the new evidence is problematic for them, but doesn't directly exonerate Sommer. The two sides will be back in court December 5th to set up the case-dismissal hearing.