48 Hours

Season 2000 Episode 24

Sleep Tight

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Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Apr 19, 2001 on CBS
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Sleep Tight
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Marine Sgt. Todd Sommer was in peak physical condition when he collapsed and died suddenly in February 2002. As shocking as Todd's death was to all those around him, perhaps no one displayed as extreme a reaction to it as his wife, Cynthia Sommer. In the wake of the tragedy, Cindy appeared unemotional and behaved in ways that did not fit the role of a grieving widow - throwing boisterous parties at her home, traveling to Mexico with friends, getting breast implants, and taking up with multiple sexual partners. Although disturbing and out of character, Cindy's rebelliousness was initially dismissed as a coping mechanism - a need to escape from her personal tragedy. But, just as Todd's case was about to be shut and declared a death by natural causes, NCIS agents discovered something that would bring Cindy under the scrutiny of military authorities. What was once thought to be food poisoning turned out to be a different type of poisoning - one they suspected involved Todd's beloved wife. Upon further inspection, not only was Cindy's reaction to Todd's death questionable, but so were her actions in the moments leading up to it, which included a plastic surgery consultation and a dubious attempt to revive him. Furthermore, with $250 in their bank account, Cindy was collecting a hefty $250,000 from Todd's life insurance policy - money that was now funding her hard-partying lifestyle. In November 2005, police charged Sommer with murder. At trial, prosecutors established her motive, but they could never link her to any physical evidence in her husband's death. Her lawyer insists there was no poisoning. Nearly five years later, after weeks of testimony, a jury found Cindy Sommer guilty. But that is far from the end of this story. In a twist, Cynthia Sommer's sentencing hearing resulted in a new development that no one expected - throwing the entire legal proceedings into question.moreless
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