- Associated Press - Sunday, January 27, 2019

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The state’s top court is set to hear an appeal from a Vermont woman sentenced to life without parole for killing a social worker and three relatives she thought played a role in her losing custody of her daughter.

The Times Argus reports the Vermont Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Feb. 19. Jody Herring is appealing her 2017 conviction in the 2015 shooting deaths of social worker Lara Sobel, as well as Herring’s two cousins, Rhonda Herring and Regina Herring, and aunt, Julie Falzarano.

Herring’s attorney, Joshua O’Hara, argues that Superior Court Judge John Pacht unfairly sentenced his 43-year-old client to life without parole, penalizing her “for being the victim of a lifetime of abuse.”

The state argues Pacht “reasonably exercised” discretion and the sentence was supported by evidence.

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