A central Vermont woman has agreed to plead guilty to four murders.
Jody Herring now admits she shot and killed three relatives in their home, then a Department of Children and Families worker outside her office in Barre in August 2015.
Investigators said she was angry with DCF about losing custody of her child, and blamed her relatives for reporting her to the state.
Thursday -- ahead of her trial that was scheduled to start next month -- Herring agreed to plead guilty to three counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree murder.
The victims were DCF social worker Lara Sobel, Herring’s cousins, Rhonda and Regina Herring, and their mother, Julie Ann Falzarano.
Sobel’s violent death prompted the creation of new state penalties for people who threaten or assault DCF workers, similar who how attacks on police officers bring an enhanced charge.
The Vermont Department for Children & Families released the following statement following the plea change:
“Today is a somber day for Department for Children and Families’ staff – for all our staff, social workers in particular” said DCF Commissioner Ken Schatz. “We are grateful that Ms. Herring is being held accountable for her actions and hope that the case will conclude soon so Lara Sobel’s family and friends, our staff, and the Herring family can have closure and begin to heal.”
She will be formally sentenced at a later date.