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Cynthia Sommer's First Post-Jail Interview; Encore: Inside Raided Polygamist Home

Aired April 19, 2008 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, mothers fighting for their children tell their side of the polygamy story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I never thought I was doing anything wrong.

KING: Disorder in the court. Texas showdown turmoil, polygamists versus the state.

An exclusive look inside the raided home of an anguished mom, her daughter's bedroom empty.

Plus, imagine being in jail for a murder you did not commit, and out of the blue, you're set free. It just happened to Cynthia Sommer. She sat down with me for her first primetime interview.

It is all right now on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Tonight, the 400-plus children taken from that polygamist compound in Texas are not going home. The court says they'll stay in state custody and undergo DNA testing. On the eve of the hearing that led to this bombshell decision, we interviewed three women from the polygamist FLDS sect.

We revisit their side of this shattering story.


KING: We begin tonight at the Eldorado Yearning for Zion Ranch in Texas with three women, all of whom have been separated from their children. They are Esther, Marilyn and Sally. And they're in front of a bunch of other women, much faced with the same plight.

Marilyn, we'll start with you. How many children do you have?


KING: Just one. How old?

MARILYN: She is 7-years-old.

KING: Esther, how many do you have?


KING: And what are their ages?

ESTHER: They range from six to 13.

KING: And, Sally, how many do you have?

SALLY, SPEAKING FROM INSIDE YFZ RANCH: I have nine that they have taken, ages 5 to 17.

KING: Were you -- Marilyn, were you surprised at the raid?

MARILYN: Yes, sir, I sure was.

KING: What were you doing at the time?

MARILYN: I was eating dinner.

KING: And was your child with you?

MARILYN: Yes, she was.

KING: And, Esther, tell us what happened.

ESTHER: At the time, I was doing what I call story and song with my son. We were singing and reading and I was helping him with his after-school homework. And...

KING: And did they just come bursting in?

ESTHER: They said they want -- there's a whole group of people out at the gate. That was the first we knew it. This was April 3. So we came up to the window to see what was going on. We could see no one out there.

And as the day progressed and through the night, they came in -- some of them came in -- and had some of the girls questioning them through the night. I was watching out the window to see what was going on. I had put my children to bed, the younger ones. The older ones could not sleep.

And the next day my oldest girl saw these other girls going down and so she came to me and says, they're going to take me. Mother, they're going to take me. Don't let them take me. I don't want to go.

And I just told the rest, let's be calm. You're not going anywhere. You're right here with me. Let's be calm.

Well, the next thing we know is -- to me it seemed like hundreds of trucks and cars came and surrounded the schoolhouse. And these armed policemen, they had taken the girls, strapped them on the bus, pulled them away from their mothers.

I just watched this from the window and I could hear screaming and crying and people forcing them into the bus and pulling them away, and the bus going away. KING: Sally, can you say...

ESTHER: And the...

KING: Hold it a second, Esther.

Sally, can you say that you never thought living the way you were living in the ranch and the like, that you were doing anything wrong?

SALLY: I never thought I was doing anything wrong.

KING: You never thought plural...

SALLY: It's a pure life here.

KING: You never thought plural marriage was wrong?

SALLY: No, sir. I do not believe that.

KING: You never thought that a relationship between, say, older men and teenage girls and younger were wrong?

SALLY: I would not -- I would -- for my own daughter, I would advise her to wait until she was of legal age. I would not want her to get married younger than that.

KING: But did you see others at the ranch getting married younger?

SALLY: Not that I'm aware of.

KING: So you have never, to your knowledge, seen a younger girl marry an older person?

SALLY: Not that I'm aware of.

KING: Marilyn, had you?

MARILYN: Not that I have ever seen.

KING: Esther, had you?

ESTHER: Not that I have ever seen.

KING: So all of these stories are false or just you haven't seen them?

ESTHER: I believe they are false.

MARILYN: I believe they are false.

SALLY: Me, also.

KING: So you're saying there were no young girls at that ranch ever, ever married to, say, men in their 20s or 30s?

ESTHER: Not to our knowledge.

KING: You never saw anyone having sex with an underage girl?

SALLY: No...

ESTHER: No, sir.

MARILYN: No, sir.

KING: So the only thing that you dealt with was pluralistic marriages -- marriages to more than one person?




KING: All right.

Did you ever think anything -- Sally, I'll ask you, did you ever think anything was wrong with that?

SALLY: No, sir. I do not believe so. But, sir, the reason that I am here is because our children need us. And they have been torn from us illegally with officers with guns. And some of our children we have not been able to have contact with for 10 days to almost two weeks. And they have taken my handicapped son, who is 5 years old and needs his mother. And they have refused to let me have him and bring him here, where he can be cared for.

They deceived us and forced us onto the bus and sent us back here. They gathered us together at Fort Concho. In the shelter I was in -- and I was only there with two of my children because they had already taken seven of my other children. And I had no contact with them except to maybe wave.

And they gathered us in this shelter and said we're going to take you to a better place where you can be united with your families, get your families back together. Gather up your stuff.

And they brought in boxes and things and so we could gather it up. And we marked it all. And they put us on a bus. They got on the -- we got on the bus and the first thing -- and one of the CPS ladies came up to us and said, OK, now here is what we're going to do. We're going to make two stops. All the mothers with children under five will be stopping at the first stop. And mothers with children school age and older will be taken to the second stop.

So at the first stop, they named who -- which of the mothers were that had to get off. On the second stop, they took us around to the side of the building and took out our luggage from under the bus and then let us come out one by one as they counted us as we came out. And they would push us back if we were coming a little too fast. They got us in this big room, in one central spot with our children, and they -- there were armed officers all gathered around. And one of the personnel came over and just said we want the mothers to gather over here. We're going to take you in this room to give you some information.

KING: Have you spoken with your...

SALLY: And they said leave the children here.

KING: Have you spoken with your children since all this?

SALLY: No, sir.


ESTHER: No. We have tried, in honest truth.

KING: Let me get a break in here.

We know polygamy is against U.S. law. Is it against God's law? We'll ask that after the break.


KING: We're back.

Esther, how old were you when you married?

SALLY: Sir, can I finish my story?

KING: Yes. But I just want to know from Esther, how old were you when you were married?

ESTHER: I was 20.

KING: Marilyn, how old were you?

MARILYN: I was 20 also.

KING: And Sally?

SALLY: Twenty-one.

KING: All right, you want to finish?

Sally, go ahead.

SALLY: Yes, I do. We were gathered together in the room and surrounded with five personnel with guns. And they said the mothers are going into this room and they were going to give them some information.

And I said, who will be with the children? And they said, we will. And I said, how can we believe that?

And they said, you're coming over here. Come over here with us. And I sat my little boy down on my bag and told his brother to watch him and then I started to walk towards where they wanted us to go. And I turned around and saw my little boy starting to fuss. So I went to help him and they said, you can't go over there. You get back over here.

And they started pushing me. And I -- so I called to one of the girls, get my little boy and keep him with you.

And they herded all into the room. And in that big room, they took us to the center of the room and it was surrounded with officers. I would expect there was probably 50 to 75 armed officers and CPS workers and whoever, security personnel.

And a woman came in and said -- opened up her manila folder and said that your children are not yours and you have two options. You can either go back to the ranch or you can go to a woman's shelter.

And I said, but what about my handicapped son? And she just said, oh, we'll take care of him. And she said you can't take care of them. You don't know how to take care of him. You haven't been his mother for five years.

And they started pushing at me. And I said, now, wait a minute. I want to know what's going on here. What is going on? What are you trying to do?

We need our children. And they said if you don't make your choice right now, then you're not going to have a choice.

And I said, now wait a minute, tell me what's going on. And they told me that if I didn't do what they said, that I'd be arrested. And I took longer than they wanted me to talk to them. And so they started and said, OK, you don't have a choice now. You're just going on this bus.

KING: Sally, what do you...

SALLY: And they pushed me over into the bus.

KING: Sally, what do you think they wanted? Do you think they wanted to take your children away from you?

SALLY: Yes, they have them. They sure didn't have...

KING: But I mean what's...

SALLY: ...the children's interests at heart.

KING: What's their permanent goal, do you think? What's the state's permanent goal here?

SALLY: I do not know, sir. I just know that our children need us and they have taken them in a most brutal way and an evil way, telling us lies continually. It was a complete lie when they took the girls. They did not ...

KING: Marilyn, have you been able...

SALLY: ...let us...

KING: Marilyn -- hold on a second, Sally.

Marilyn, have you been able to talk to your child?

MARILYN: No, not since they sent us away.

KING: Did you try to contact her?

MARILYN: Yes, I did. I tried yesterday.

KING: And what happened?

MARILYN: All we got was CPS with her saying they believe no children had been removed from the Wells Fargo Pavilion. That's the only answer I got.

KING: Esther, where's your husband?

ESTHER: My children are in that pavilion and my interest is to get them out of the pavilion. I would like...

KING: Where is your husband?

ESTHER: I would like for the children to be returned. I would like to have complete custody of my children. I am an active mother. We are active mothers with our children. They are happy with us. They are happy to be here. And they cried in the shelter. They cried and cried, when are we going to go home? When are we going to get back to normal?

We want them to go home.

KING: Well, they also have -- they have a father. Where is he?

ESTHER: The interest here is to get the children.

KING: You have no interest in your husband?

ESTHER: The interest is that my children are in that pavilion. And I was never served any papers. I was never contacted. I was suddenly -- at gunpoint -- forced out of my home, onto a bus, gone through the experience of the shelter, the crowded conditions, never served any papers. I have done nothing to -- I am not a law breaker. And I have not had any papers served. I have not seen anything. And then without anything...

KING: All right.


ESTHER: ...they take the children from you.

KING: Marilyn, where is your husband?

MARILYN: I am standing with these ladies, Larry. I want our children returned. And my brother...

KING: You have no interest in your husband?

MARILYN: My interest right now is these children.

KING: And, Sally, where is your husband?

SALLY: I stand with them also. My total interest and devotion is to get the children with me and that is what they need.

KING: You realize, Sally, that polygamy is against the law. So technically, when you're in a polygamist relationship, that is breaking the law, isn't it?

SALLY: Depending on whose law you're looking at.

KING: Well, are you -- you're referring to God's law?

SALLY: You can take it as you'd like to.

KING: Well, the state has law, Marilyn, doesn't it?

MARILYN: Yes, it does.

KING: And do you think you might have broken the state's law?

MARILYN: I honestly don't know what all the laws are.

KING: All right.

Esther, do you think you might have broken the law?

ESTHER: I do not feel like I have broken the law. I know that there has been laws passed within the last three months. And they want to take those laws that were passed three months ago and charge people that -- that haven't -- I mean I was - my oldest child is 13.

Are you going to take laws that were passed three months ago and charge me for something that I had -- it's -- it doesn't match up.


KING: Marilyn invited us into her home at the YFZ Ranch.

Here's a look inside.


MARILYN: Thank you so much for coming.

This is our living room. We have pianos, we sing much of the time. We have piano lessons. We have a lady here that gives piano lessons to our children. We have a chorus here that knows how to read music. We know how to do all of those things.

You can see there's no children. This is our kitchen, where we make the meals for the families. Right now, you can smell fresh bread. We grind our own wheat for our bread. It's the most wholesome and nutritious and the children just love it.

This is where we eat our meals. Most of the time, it's full of children's noises -- happy children eating their food. But it's quiet. There is no one here -- no children. They've taken them. And they've taken them away from us. And they need us.

My little girl begged them to let me come with her and they would not let me. My little girl's name is Marla (ph).

When they came last Friday, they asked us to bring all the girls from age seven to 17 to be questioned. I took her there personally and stayed with her. And part way through the day, one of the CPS ladies said I want to talk to all the moms. And I was standing as close to her as I am to you. And we knew something was up, we didn't know what. There were men all around with guns. They've never seen, never seen a firearm in their life.

This is Marla's bed. You can see it's empty. And that's the hardest thing in the world for me, to come and sleep in this room with no little girls, knowing they're in the hands in people that can't love them like a mother, that don't know how to love them like their mother can.

This is Marla's baby book. She absolutely loves to look at this book. These were people that came to see her when she was born. And here's a picture of her more recent.

Several older girls live in this bedroom and they have taken them, as well. Several of these girls came to my room the night of the raid and said, please, can we stay with you, we are so scared.

This is my mother's room. She has three of her daughters that sleep in here with her and they have every one of them. She's got a 15-year-old girl, a 10-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl. And she comes home and sleeps in the room and every child is gone.


MARILYN: I can't think about it. Those children need their mothers. All right, this is our front door. Thank you so very much for coming. We need our children to come home. And they need us.


KING: We'll be back with more with the women of Eldorado, Texas after these words.


KING: Esther, there are hearings taking place in Texas. There are attorneys representing all of your children. Do you think that you're going to get your children back? ESTHER: I have great hopes. You have to understand, Larry, through all of this, I have been so lied to and I would just hope that somewhere out there, in that courtroom, there's an honest person that can see that the children need to be with their mother. And the children need to be home.

KING: One would think that's obviously the goal. Marilyn, do you think that you're going to get your child back?

MARILYN: I am praying that I will. And I will do all it takes to get her back.

KING: Sally -- I'm sorry, go ahead.

MARILYN: I thought about the question that you asked, where's my little girl's father? He's here. He wants her back too, of course.

KING: That's good. I was wondering why you couldn't answer that. Anyway, Sally, do you expect to get the children back?

SALLY: I'm praying with all of my heart also to get every child back. And I'll do everything I need to for that to happen.

KING: Have the attorneys spoken to you, Sally?

SALLY: Yes, somewhat.

KING: Are they optimistic?

SALLY: I couldn't answer that for them. I don't know.

KING: Do they give you great hope?

SALLY: I haven't spoken to them enough yet.

KING: Esther, do believe that these outsiders want to really hurt you?

ESTHER: No, I believe they just don't understand. I don't understand them. They don't understand me. And why -- why do they want to do this? I have a big question, why do they want to do this? I'm an active mother. I'm busy in raising my children. I haven't harmed anyone. Why do they want to come in and take that privilege, and that god-given privilege and responsibility away from me?

Why do they want to do that? My children love me. I love them. They are raised in a very safe environment. This, what is happening to them, is the worst abuse that they have ever had. I just don't understand why you would want to just come right into our community and do this. I'm sure none of you would want anyone to just go and do it to you.

KING: Did you ask them, Sally, while they were doing it, why are you doing it?

SALLY: I should say so many times, and they wouldn't give me an answer. They would always say, I don't know. I'm just doing my job. Just doing what I'm told. I saw no papers of anything. I only saw children being torn from their mothers.

KING: Well, we shall keep in close touch.

Thank you all, Esther, Marilyn and Sally. We haven't obviously heard the last of this.



KING: What's going on inside the polygamist homes? We got a look at one of them. Our tour guide, a wife who lives there. Here's more of our exclusive footage.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you so much for coming.

This is the room, a lady that is not here. They have her and her 10-month-old child and two other little girls that live here with her, and that is just so, so pathetic. See her name, this little girl is Marsie (ph). Here are her leggings.

Have her little slip that she wears under her dress. When their socks get holes in them, we have a sweet, sweet grandmother that patches them so they don't go around with holes in their socks.

My mother has a little boy that's 5-years-old. He has Down syndrome. We have to have a bigger bed for him because he moves all over and has Hirschsprung's disease. And they refused to let her take him with her. He takes minute-by-minute care. And this is a picture that one of the children colored for him.

This is a room where three girls live with a mother. You can see the beds are empty. We get up in the morning, we sing, we read, we have breakfast, we say our prayers.

We're back in the kitchen, the bread is out of the oven, it's fresh. We can show you into our dining room. This is where we eat our meals. Most of the time it's full of children's noises.

Not having our children, it is terrible. For them to have done what they've done, and those children are suffering because of it.

My little girl's name is Marva (ph). When they came last Friday, they asked us to bring all of the girls from age 7 to 17 to be questioned. I took her there personally and stayed with her. And we knew something was up. We didn't know what. There were men all around with guns. They had never seen, never seen a firearm in their life.

And here's a picture her more recent.

(CRYING) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those children need their mothers.

In our backyard we have grass. They come out and play on the grass. This shelf right here is for our shoes. It's generally full of children's shoes, they're gone because they have our children. And they need to come home to their mothers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need our children to come home. They need us.


KING: Imagine being in jail for a murder you did not commit, and out of the blue, you're set free. It just happened to Cynthia Sommer. She sat down with me for her first primetime interview.


KING: We welcome to LARRY KING LIVE a very happy Cynthia Sommer, once convicted of murdering her Marine husband, now out of jail as of last night. The charges against her dismissed.

With her is Todd Tice, her cousin who never lost faith in her innocence, supported her throughout this ordeal, and her attorney Allen Bloom. To get you a little background on the circumstances and all that took place, watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he still conscious?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is he breathing?


KING (voice-over): A chilling 911 call, early February 18th, 2002. Cynthia Sommers said her husband, 23-year-old Marine Sergeant Todd Sommer had collapsed in their bedroom one-month after passing his five-year physical with flying colors.

By 2:30 a.m. he was dead. The autopsy revealed nothing. His cause of death listed as cardiac arrhythmia. His body was cremated except for organs and tissues Cynthia donated for research.

A year later, military tests on those same organs found arsenic levels hundreds of times normal in Todd's kidneys and liver. She was convicted despite questions about the custody of her husband's organs and prosecutors admitting they knew going in that the case was circumstantial.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We the jury (INAUDIBLE) find the defendant, Cynthia A. Sommer, guilty of the crime of murder. (END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Cynthia Sommer was released last night and the district attorney's office said: "In light of the newly discovered evidence, the people have now concluded that this case can no longer be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and respectfully request that the court dismiss this action without prejudice."

Are you shocked, Cynthia?

SOMMER: I'm very shocked, yes.

KING: Well, what was it like to get out? What was it like?

SOMMER: Amazing. It's like I could breathe.

KING: How long were you in?

SOMMER: Eight hundred and seventy-six days.

KING: You had no bail?

SOMMER: No bail. Yes, held without bail.

KING: From the initial arrest, through the trial, even though they ordered a second trial, you had no bail?

SOMMER: Correct.

KING: All right. Allen, what did it for Cynthia?

ALLEN BLOOM, CYNTHIA SOMMER'S ATTORNEY: Well, I know what didn't do it, what didn't do it was a system that worked. This system broke down as it related to Cynthia Sommer. And nobody should go out of here and say that it worked.

Yes, justice was done, but it wasn't done because of the district attorneys in this case, it was done despite of them.

KING: All right. Was this a prosecution they never should have held?

BLOOM: Never should have held at all. The tissues which were tested just last week was a huge amount of tissues that were -- had been available and in their possession for four-and-a-half years. And a phone call away, and they never tested them.

There wasn't a crime at all. These tissues were tested. They had never gotten to the lab that had contaminated them. There never was any arsenic in Todd's body at all.

KING: How did you lose that first trial, Cynthia?


KING: I mean, were you a bad witness on your own behalf do you think?

SOMMER: No, I...

KING: You did testify, right?

SOMMER: I did. I did. I don't know what happened at the first trial. I believe justice failed.

KING: Do you think that your reputation hurts you? I mean, there was a testimony about you partying and sleeping around, getting breast implants shortly after your husband died. Do you think that affected the jury?

SOMMER: I believe the way that the D.A. portrayed the way that I was, the way that I grieved made an impact in the way that the media put a light -- a spin on the way that I grieved.

KING: Were you shocked that you were found guilty?

SOMMER: Very, very.

KING: Why did you hold so strong for her, Todd?

TODD TICE, CYNTHIA SOMMER'S COUSIN: Because the evidence just was not there. I mean, we could see back a long time ago that it just didn't add up. And you can't have arsenic in two tissues and not have it in the rest of the tissues.

And so we knew something was wrong with the samplings and the testing back then. And it was proven a few days ago.

KING: What do you think happened to your husband, Cynthia?

SOMMER: He had a cardiac arrhythmia.

KING: At age what?

SOMMER: Twenty-three.

KING: Hard to believe, right? Isn't it?

SOMMER: It's actually very common.

BLOOM: Over 370,000 people died in 2006 with cardiac arrhythmia.

KING: In their 20s?

BLOOM: Yes, absolutely. He was in the prime age for that type of death.

KING: All right. What caused them -- the authorities, to go a year without investigating it, and then investigating it?

SOMMER: As far as bringing -- they...

KING: Yes, in other words, for a year they did nothing, right? SOMMER: That I have no idea what they did, what they sat on, I don't know, they have never answered what their...

KING: Allen, do you know why?

BLOOM: I don't know why. But I have a really strong suspicion it's the same thing that you already brought up, Mr. King. It's the fact that they looked at how Cynthia's behavior was afterwards.

And they said, wait a second, she lost her moral compass right in those few months afterwards.

KING: She did.

BLOOM: She did. But that had nothing to do with being guilty or not guilty, or even if a crime was committed. But they looked at it and said, wait, this is suspicious or this isn't the way we think it should be.

So they decided to go forward and take a look and do testing for what they call heavy metals. They sent it to a lab that had never done this kind of testing on tissues before involving human beings or any biological tissues.

And it was that lab that contaminated it. Armed Forces Institute of Pathologies, any product that comes out of them ought to be suspect.

KING: The lab itself contaminated it?

BLOOM: Absolutely. I don't know how, I don't know why. All we do know is that, as we've talked about before, they tested six tissues: liver, kidney, bile (ph), brain, muscle, and blood. Four of them came out completely clean and normal. Two of them came out toxic.

That's not how arsenic works. It goes through the bloodstream. It touches everything. And it makes everything toxic.

KING: And wasn't that introduced at trial?

BLOOM: It was. And their own people knew it was suspect. So the district attorney went to six other experts to back it up and every one those six experts said, we don't sign off on this.

So then the district attorney said, these witnesses are going to help you, Mr. Defendant. And at that point, the first defense lawyer took it and presented that evidence in there.

KING: You weren't the defense lawyer?

BLOOM: I was not.

KING: Coming next, a very compelling moment from my jail interview with Cynthia. Don't go away. RICK SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Hi, everybody. I'm Rick Sanchez. We are in Philadelphia. This is a town that has been -- well, not just hot in terms of weather today, but it is pumped and ready to go for the Pennsylvania Primary.

A lot of big stories that we're going to be following today. First of all, this thing has tightened up between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It's immeasurable to see just how this has changed in the last week alone. We've got the numbers, we're going to be sharing them with you.

Also, Bill Maher, and the controversy that he had made regarding the pope and Nazism. He has taken back part of his offensive statement, but not all of it. We're going to tell you which part he has taken back.

And then there is also the controversy surrounding ABC News and the backlash against them at this point for the last debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. We're going to have all of this and a whole lot more right here live from Philly. We're on the road. See you after Larry.



SOMMER: I never thought that this would happen. I'm shocked that I was arrested. I'm shocked that I spent 15 months in jail. And I'm shocked at the verdict.

KING: So the whole thing is bizarre, is that a correct word?

SOMMER: Very, very. I felt like I had been in a movie for the past year.


KING: How were told, Cynthia, that it was over?

SOMMER: Actually by deputies.

KING: What did they say -- what happened?

SOMMER: I was in a lockdown, shift change, and they came and the sergeant asked me if it was true. And I asked him if what was true. And he asked if all of the media buzz, if all the media cameras outside were there for my release.

And I asked him -- I didn't know what he was talking about, and...

KING: You mean, they knew before you?

SOMMER: They knew before me. I was the last person to find out.

KING: Did you know, Todd? TICE: Yes, I knew -- I think I was the first phone call that Allen gave after he found out. And I was an hour-and-a-half away from boarding a plane to come down anyway. But now I really had a reason to go down.

KING: How fast from learning did you get out?

SOMMER: They told me at about 6 -- a quarter to 6 and I was released at 7:30.

KING: Not bad. Not bad to walk out, huh? Are you going to get to go see your kids now?

SOMMER: Yes. I'm on my way to go see my daughter.

KING: And then you've got other children.

SOMMER: My other three are in Michigan, and I'll go see them this weekend.

KING: How have the parents of the -- of your deceased husband taken all of this?

SOMMER: I have not spoken to them. I don't know.

KING: Do you think they blame you?

SOMMER: I think the D.A. has led them to believe that I've been guilty, yes.

KING: What won this?

BLOOM: Well, interestingly enough, if you really want to know where it started, if I had anything to do with Cindy sitting right here, you had to do with it. My girlfriend saw your show on TV. She said to me, you have to help that girl. That could be any one of us.

KING: Oh, you weren't her lawyer then?

BLOOM: I was not her attorney at that time.

KING: So you watched this show and what?

BLOOM: She saw the show. She said, this is not right. This is not fair. You've got to do something about it. I said, well, what can I do? She said, I don't care, you've got to make it right. It happened to be the next day Todd called me.

And we talked about it. And he asked to come on to the case. I went and saw Cindy and I came on to the case at that time.

KING: So you believe from the show?

BLOOM: I'm not kidding. It was from this show. That's why my girlfriend Amanda called me and -- I mean, talked to me and said, you've got to do something about it. She said, any one of us could be sitting there where Cindy is. And it's outrageous what happened there.

KING: During all of this, Todd, you had to have some doubts. Not that she would be exonerated, but that she might not be exonerated.

TICE: I think my biggest concern in the beginning was to grant a motion for a new trial, because I knew that that was a huge uphill battle, and it virtually doesn't happen.

And once the motion for a new trial was granted, I felt as though the hill wasn't as steep. And we now had a -- it was a light at the end of the tunnel. And she was treading water as opposed to being, you know, 100 feet under water, she was at least at sea level again and had a chance to swim.

KING: Can you sue, Cynthia?

SOMMER: You know, I'm just glad that I'm out right now. And I'm not even thinking about any financial gain or anything from this. My whole goal right now is to help with something like the Innocence Project and help people that have been wrongfully accused, people that have been overcharged in jail and in prison and help justice be served for other people.

KING: Can she sue? Well, anybody can sue. But will she sue?

BLOOM: This is isn't about dollars and cents now. I mean, we really have not decided anything that we're going to do there. The next step that we're going to do is go back to court and to try to convince Judge Einhorn, who is our judge, to go forward and make this dismissal with what is called "with prejudice," meaning for all time.

Because the way the district attorney...

KING: What is "without prejudice" mean?

BLOOM: Without prejudice means that they can, if they think...

KING: Charge again.

BLOOM: Charge again. But I don't think they're doing it for that purpose. I think they are doing it without prejudice -- or saying it is without prejudice, because that makes it seem like, well, maybe we were -- we weren't really 100 percent wrong in this.

And that's what's really disturbing about this...

KING: It's the district attorney that says without prejudice.

BLOOM: That's right.

KING: The judge can overrule that and say with prejudice...

BLOOM: That's right.

KING: ... and therefore double jeopardy if they come back. BLOOM: That's correct. That's correct. And the district attorney's effort to try to cover themselves, instead of admitting the mistake, is a terrible thing.

KING: What are going to do with your life, Cynthia?

SOMMER: Like I said, I do want to help other people...

KING: I know, but what, are you going to earn a living? Are you going to -- what are going to do?

SOMMER: You know, I just go out of jail, it has been less than -- I think less than 24 hours...

KING: I know, but we act quickly...



KING: Where are you going to live?

SOMMER: I don't -- I have no idea right now. I'm in a hotel right now.

BLOOM: Ask her where she's going to be for the weekend. She'll tell you that.

KING: Where are going for the weekend?

SOMMER: Northern California. So -- yes.

KING: Good luck to you, dear.

SOMMER: Thank you so much.

KING: Congratulations. He never gave up.

SOMMER: No, he didn't.

KING: Hillary Clinton will be here on Monday, the eve of the Pennsylvania Primary. That's LARRY KING LIVE Monday. It's going to be an exciting week.