A multi-day sentencing hearing is underway in central Vermont for the woman who admitted to murdering four people in August of 2015.
Jody Herring pled guilty this past summer to killing her cousins, Rhonda and Regina Herring, their mother, Julie Ann Falzarano, and a caseworker for the Vermont Department for Children and Families, Lara Sobel.
Herring confessed to shooting and killing her relatives at Falzarano’s home in Berlin, then going to the state office building in nearby Barre to target Sobel.
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Investigators said Herring was enraged from a loss of child custody, and blamed her four victims for it.
While Herring’s guilt is not in question, what this week’s sentencing hearing should determine if she could ever be eligible for parole—even if several decades from now.
“I tried getting ahold of my mom and I’m like, ‘Oh no, oh no, please don’t tell me,’” prosecution witness Tiffany Herring Flint testified Monday about the day she discovered her mother dead inside the home in Berlin.
Another prosecution witness, Jacob Graves, testified he saw Herring shoot the DCF caseworker with a hunting rifle.
“There was only a couple or three other seconds before she advanced and took another shot,” Graves recalled.
One of the defendant’s aunts testified for the defense about Herring’s difficult teenage years.
“My understanding was they were living in an abandoned car,” Sharon Johnson said in response to a question from defense attorney David Sleigh about Jody Herring and her brother having been kicked out of their home after their father’s death.
Sandra Herring, another aunt, was called to the witness stand by Sleigh and testified that her niece’s frail mental state crumbled further when her child entered state custody.
“After losing her daughter, she was just getting worse and worse,” Sandra Herring said.
More defense testimony is slated for Tuesday, with this sentencing hearing expected to stretch into Wednesday, or perhaps, Thursday.