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thedrifter
01-04-07, 12:51 PM
January 04, 2007
Trial begins for wife accused in arsenic death
Woman allegedly bought breast implants with insurance money

By Gidget Fuentes
Staff writer

SAN DIEGO — The murder trial of a woman accused of poisoning her Marine husband and using the life insurance money to buy breast implants in 2002 got underway Tuesday.

Cynthia Sommer, 33, faces two counts of murder in the death of Sgt. Todd Sommer, who died on Feb. 18, 2002, of what a county medical examiner later determined was arsenic poisoning. The jury trial is being held before San Diego Superior Court Judge Peter Deddeh at the downtown courthouse.

Cynthia Sommer lived with her husband, who was 23, in military housing at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego at the time of his death, which initially was thought to be due to a heart attack.

Prosecutors contend that she poisoned him to collect $250,000 in life insurance money, which they alleged she used for breast augmentation. Cynthia Sommer, who pleaded not guilty, has denied the claims. She has four children, including one child with Todd Sommer.

Cynthia Sommer has been held in a San Diego jail without bail since March after she was extradited from Palm Beach, Fla., where she moved shortly after her husband’s death.

Attending a pretrial motions hearing on Tuesday was Ross Ritter, a former Marine who reportedly is her fiancÚ, the NBC affiliate in San Diego reported. The judge barred the prosecution from presenting evidence about her sex life shortly after his death.

Ellie