Jody Herring, 43 was sentenced in Barre, Vermont to three 20-year-to-life sentences and one life sentence without the possibility of parole for killing a social worker and three of her family members in 2015, says MSN.com. Herring pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder.
Investigators say on August 7, 2015, Herring shot caseworker Lara Sobel of the Department for Children and Families as she walked to her car. Prior to this, she also shot two of her cousins, Rhonda Herring, 48 and Regina Herring, 43, as well as her aunt, Julie Falzarano, 73. She told police she believed her family members were responsible for the state taking away her 9-year-old daughter.
Another cousin of Herring found the bodies of the three women a day after the attack on Sobel.
An eyewitness told the court he saw Herring shoot Sobel; she also stole the rifle used in the killings from her ex-boyfriend, Henry Premont. She had been denied the ability to buy guns at least twice before, according to MSN.com.
Another cousin of Herring’s testified that she left a threatening voicemail for the family members before they were murdered. Herring told the court she was mentally ill, and defense attorneys argued she had a severe anxiety disorder.
Herring’s brother also told the court that he had an argument with her before the shootings. She left him an angry voicemail stating “Watch the news, you’ll wish you got a hold of me earlier,” says MSN.
Sobel was on the phone with her daughter when she was shot twice, and the family says they cannot forget or forgive the crime. Herring cried in court, saying she wished she could take it all back.
If Herring would have been convicted of all four murder charges, it would have carried a mandatory life sentence. The judge gave Herring the maximum sentence called for in the plea bargain with prosecutors.
The families of the victims reportedly clapped as the judge read Herring’s sentence in court, and have stated they feel the sentence is just.
*Photo credit Glenn Russell/Free Press