Brother describes Jody Herring's life before murders; psychiatrist says Herring suffers anxiety

BARRE, Vt. - It was an emotional day in the courtroom Tuesday, as family and friends of Jody Herring were called to the stand to help shed light on the life she lived before murdering four people in August.

Herring’s older brother, Dwayne not only called her a sister but also a best friend. He’s convinced one phone call could have changed everything two years ago.

Dwayne tearfully recalled the day of the murders, "I didn't hear my phone ring...  Had I answered my sister wouldn't be here today,"

Herring left Dwayne several voicemails before police say she went on a killing spree.

Dwayne said, "Every one of them, I relive them every day... ‘Dwayne, I need to talk to you call me’... They got worse and worse."

Dwayne says he and Herring are close, he described an abusive upbringing following the death of their father, "Thrown up against the wall, hit with a yard stick just very abusive."

In July, Herring pleaded guilty to killing social worker Lara Sobel in August 2015, outside the 48 year-old's office in Barre. The 43 year-old also admitted to killing three relatives, Regina Herring, Rhonda Herring and Julie Ann Falzarano in Berlin.

Dwayne said, "She was losing it, it messed her up."

Herring blamed all four victims, after she lost the custody of her daughter to the state. Dwayne says his sister showed him paperwork detailing reports made by their relatives.

"That little girl never wanted for nothing... She had to have the best of the best in Jody's eyes," said Dwayne.

Also on the stand, a Massachusetts psychiatrist. Dr. Renee Sorrentino interviewed Herring the day after the murders and found Herring suffers from severe anxiety.

Sorrentino said, "She told me she was feeling increasingly anxious, angry and desperate because Rhonda and Regina were trying to control her."

Dwayne also mentioned his sister had a history of dating abusive men. He says when Herring's daughter was taken, his sister's frame of mind deteriorated.

Dwayne said, "Never ever did I hear her not want to be with her mother, she never said she wasn't fed clothed nothing."

Herring's childhood friend Michelle Chambers also took the stand, calling Herring a good mother.

Chambers said, "She was her chance at life, she was the only thing that kept her grounded, she loved that girl."

Chambers also claims Sobel had an opinion of Herring before she took on the case involving her daughter and say Sobel lied.

Testimony concluded Tuesday with victim impact statements expected to begin Wednesday morning.

Herring is facing life in prison without parole.

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