Mom accused of killing family social worker allegedly laughed during police interview

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BARRE, Vt. — A mother accused of gunning down a social worker in Vermont allegedly laughed as she spoke with police and brushed off what may have been human flesh on her shoes as “nothing,” court documents allege, according to CNN affiliate WFFF.

Jody Herring, 40, is accused of fatally shooting Lara Sobel, 48, of Montpelier, outside the Department of Children and Families office in Barre last week, WFFF reports.

The day after Sobel was killed, three of Herring’s relatives were found dead in their home, the station reports. Officials believe Herring killed them before killed Sobel, though no charges have been filed against her in their deaths.

She pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of first-degree murder and is being held without bail at Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, WFFF reports.

Court documents describe Herring as being “very calm” and laughing during her initial encounter with police, WFFF reports.

She allegedly shrugged off having a reddish-brown, flesh-like substance on her shoes, saying “Oh, these are nothing,” the documents read.

Herring, who has a long criminal history, was reportedly frustrated with DCF and ranted to police about the injustices she allegedly endured because of the department, WFFF reports. Her 9-year-old daughter lives out of state with her father.

Police said Herring used a .270-caliber hunting rifle to kill Sobel. They said they found more boxes of ammunition at her South Barre home and in her vehicle.

WFFF reports that before Sobel’s death, Herring allegedly left her brother a voicemail saying, “Watch the news. You’ll wish you got a hold of me earlier.”
There were several witnesses to the alleged crime, including State’s Attorney Scott Williams who said he grabbed the gun from Herring’s hands, according to court documents.

Williams said he was at a gym working out when he heard the gunshot. Because he is a witness, he won’t be prosecuting the case.

"I'm available to help the state, Attorney's General office as much as possible. But the reality is, I'm a material witness so I can't be involved in the legal proceedings which is highly frustrating but it needs to be that way," Williams said.