Aug. 1 trial for woman accused of killing social worker, kin

FILE- In this Aug. 10, 2015, file photo, Jody Herring is led out of court after her arraignment in Vermont Superior Court in Barre, Vt. Herring is charged with killing a social worker and three of her own relatives after losing custody of her daughter. On Monday, Feb. 27, 2017, a judge set the date of Aug. 1 for her trial. (Toby Talbot/Times Argus via AP, Pool, File)

BARRE, Vt. (AP) – A woman charged with shooting and killing three relatives and a social worker in 2015 is scheduled to go on trial nearly two years to the day after the crimes took place.

A judge on Monday set an Aug. 1 trial date for Jody Herring.

Herring, of Barre, has pleaded not guilty to murder charges in the deaths of social worker Lara Sobel; her cousins Regina Herring and Rhonda Herring; and her aunt Julie Falzarano.

Police say Herring was upset about losing custody of her 9-year-old daughter and believed Sobel had a role in the custody issue and her relatives had reported her to the state Department for Children and Families, according to court records.

Sobel was shot outside her workplace in Barre on Aug. 7, 2015. Police say Herring’s relatives had been killed earlier.

Herring’s lawyer David Sleigh has indicated he may seek an insanity defense arguing Herring was insane at the time of the crimes, but he says he must talk with an expert and Herring first.

Sleigh is no longer pursuing dismissal of the case based on the grounds Herring is incompetent for trial.

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