BARRE, Vt. (WCAX) Confessed killer Jody Herring didn't learn her fate Tuesday, but those in the courtroom learned more about what led up to her deadly 2015 rampage.
On day two of sentencing, defense witnesses took the stand. Michelle Chambers, Jody Herring's friend since childhood, testified about Herring's love for her daughter, who was taken into state custody. "The only thing that kept her grounded -- she loved that girl," Chambers said.
Before losing custody, Chambers told the court she joined Herring in a meeting with DCF worker Lara Sobel. Sobel's written review of the discussion claimed Herring got agitated and cut off conversation. Chambers told the court that Sobel lied.
Matthew Levine/Assistant Attorney General: So your testimony is that this is a complete fabrication?
Michelle Chambers: Absolutely.
Herring's brother, Dwayne, calls himself a "best friend" to his sister since the two were young. He also testified that Herring treated her daughter well. "She had to have the best of the best in Jody's eyes," he said.
Dwayne said his sister called him earlier on during the day of the shootings. He missed the calls, but said voice messages revealed the final moments of Herring's breakdown after DCF stepped in.
David Sleigh/Defense Attorney: And how did that impact Jody?
Dwayne Herring: She was losing it. It messed her up.
Psychiatrist Dr. Renee Sorrentino, who interviewed Herring after the killings, agreed. "The totality of Ms. Herring's childhood trauma, her repeated exposure to psychosocial stressers, her active symptoms of anxiety, as well as her active symptoms of substance use, impaired Ms. Herring's perception on the day of the incident offenses," Dr. Sorrentino said.
The testimony phase of the sentencing wrapped up Tuesday. On Wednesday family members of the four victims Herring murdered will give statements before she is sentenced. She faces life in prison, but her defense is seeking an eventual chance at parole.