The prosecution will not let Cynthia Sommers go in peace.Its ego is badly bruised:
Sommer's bid for exoneration on hold
Marine widow's case waits on high court
By Ray Huard
September 27, 2008
SAN DIEGO COURTS – Cynthia Sommer's bid to be forever free of charges that she killed her Marine husband was postponed again yesterday, at least until the California Supreme Court acts on the case.
Advertisement “I will never give up,” Sommer said outside court yesterday. “I think it's important for me not to give up and to give other people hope.”
Sommer, 35, was convicted in January 2007 of poisoning her husband with arsenic. She was granted a new trial in November 2007 and freed in April after prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss the case, revealing that new tests showed no arsenic in tissue samples from Sgt. Todd Sommer's body.
The case was dismissed without prejudice, giving prosecutors the option of later resurrecting murder charges against Sommer.
Sommer's lawyer, Allen Bloom, has asked the San Diego Superior Court to dismiss the case with prejudice, which would bar any future murder prosecution. He wanted a prompt hearing on the matter.
Prosecutors argue that the county court doesn't have the authority to take such an action, and they asked the Supreme Court to settle the matter.
Superior Court Judge John Einhorn said “it would be a poor use of judicial resources” to conduct a hearing on Bloom's request without knowing what the Supreme Court will do.
Deputy District Attorney Richard Armstrong told Einhorn that he doesn't expect to hear anything from the Supreme Court until late next month at the earliest, with late November more likely. Einhorn set a Nov. 14 hearing for an update on the case.
Sommer said the delay has caused problems for her because she is trying to regain custody in Michigan of her three sons, ages 8, 12 and 14. She said she moved to Michigan after her release and lives there with her 17-year-old daughter.
Sommer said Michigan courts are unwilling to grant her custody of the children as long as there's a possibility – however slight – that she could end up back in jail to be retried on murder charges.
Bloom said prosecutors were “playing fast and loose” with Sommer's life by not agreeing to dismiss the charges with prejudice.
Bloom has accused prosecutors of misconduct for mishandling evidence that would have cleared Sommer in her trial. He contended that prosecutors are delaying a final resolution of the case because it has been an embarrassment to them.
“Everything they're doing is just to avoid getting to the truth in the case,” Bloom said outside the courtroom.
Armstrong declined to respond to Bloom's accusation.
Ray Huard: (619) 593-4953; firstname.lastname@example.org