On Thursday, a woman from Vermont pleaded guilty to killing a social worker and three relatives whom she believed played a part in losing her 9-year-old daughter.
Appearing at a court near where Jody Herring killed social worker Lara Sobel two year ago, as one of her daughters teared up, she stood before the court and pleaded guilty to one count of first degree murder and three counts of second degree murder.
She was originally charged with three counts of aggravated murder, but as a part of a plea deal, prosecutors gave her three counts of second degree murder.
She has been sentenced to live without parole and the sentencing itself will come later.
David Sleigh, defense attorney, explains that the plea deal would allow a chance for the defendant to gain parole, while aggravated murder would mean life without parole.
“So, we have an opportunity to argue for a sentence that would allow her to be released on parole at some point,” Sleigh said.
Assistant attorney general, John Treadwell, says that this is plea deal is of value to the state, the victims and the community.
“The state believes that this is a fair and just resolution of the pending charges in this matter,” he said. “In exchange for taking the mandatory life without parole sentence under aggravated murder off the table the state obtains four murder convictions and retains the possibility of seeking and retaining a life without parole sentence at the sentencing hearing.”
42-year old Herring, had admitted to shooting social worker Sobel as she left work on August 7 2015, after she had gone to Berlin, Vermont to shoot her two cousins Regina and Rhonda Herring and her aunt Julie Falzarano, whom she believed had reported her to the Department for Children and Families.
According to the police, Herring shot Sobel twice with a hunting rifle and people tackled her after she shot the 14-year employee. The next day after she was arrested, police were called and they found the bodies of her relatives.