A jury convicted a woman of murder Tuesday after prosecutors accused her of poisoning her Marine husband with arsenic to cash in on his $250,000 life insurance policy to finance a luxurious lifestyle.
The jury also found in favor of special circumstances against Cynthia Sommer, 33, alleging murder by poisoning and for financial gain.
Sommer could be sentenced to life in prison. She swallowed and stared as the verdict was read.
Prosecutors argued that Sommer wanted a more luxurious lifestyle than she could afford on the $1,700 monthly salary Sgt. Todd Sommer brought home and saw the military life insurance policy as a way to "set herself free."
Sommer's defense attorney, Robert Udell, told jurors that his client had lost her "knight in shining armor" and repeatedly returned to the absence of any paper trail linking Sommer to the arsenic.
With no direct evidence that Sommer was the source of the arsenic detected in her husband's liver, Deputy District Attorney Laura Gunn relied heavily on circumstantial evidence of Sommer's financial debt to show that she had a motive to kill her 23-year-old husband.