Sara is shocked to discover that the man she spent the night with was murdered in cold blood shortly after she left his hotel room. Sara swears that all she did was have some wine with the victim, Taylor Wynard, but evidence at the scene, phone and room key logs, and the fact that she took sleeping pills all seem to cast doubt on her story of the night's events. When Sara learns that the CSIs uncovered a necklace given to her by a deceased friend Edie, she hypothesizes that she is being set up by Ronald Basderic (ep 1302). Basderic blamed Sara for Edie's death, so she feels that he's out to get his vengeance. When she confronts him, Basderic manages to make it look like she assaults him, which gets her suspended from duty temporarily. Without any proof to link Basderic to the crime and the set-up, the CSIs have to dig deeper into the evidence to uncover the true mechanics of his revenge plot. Finally, a break comes when the CSIs discover that most of the evidence was carefully planted, and that Basderic was in the hotel the night Wynard was murdered. Sara goes to confront him, which Basderic had hoped for, but the rest of the team is there to hear his confession and arrest him.
In addition to battling Basderic and the looming murder charges, Sara also spends much of this episode reeling from her separation from Grissom, which she had told none of her coworkers about. She also spends time with her alcoholic mother in a local permanent care facility, and its indicated that Sara will be spending more time working on that relationship in the near future.