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Archive for Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Widow convicted of poisoning Marine

January 31, 2007

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— A woman was convicted Tuesday of murdering her Marine husband with arsenic so she could cash in on his $250,000 life insurance policy, some of which she used to have her breasts enlarged.

Prosecutors argued that Cynthia Sommer, 33, wanted a more luxurious lifestyle than she could afford on her 23-year-old husband's $1,700 monthly salary and saw his military life insurance policy as a way to "set herself free."

In addition to the breast enlargement surgery, Sommer's friends and co-workers testified, she threw wild parties and had casual sex with multiple partners in the weeks after her husband's death and the payment of the insurance policy.

Sgt. Todd Sommer was in top condition when he collapsed and died Feb. 18, 2002, at the couple's home on the Marine Corps' Miramar base in San Diego.

His death initially was ruled a heart attack. Tests of his liver later found levels of arsenic 1,020 times above normal.

Cynthia Sommer faces an automatic life sentence. Formal sentencing was set for March 23.

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