Vermont

Lawyer says suspect in social worker killing is incompetent

A lawyer for a Vermont woman charged with killing a social worker and three of her own relatives after losing custody of her daughter says she's incompetent to stand trial.

Attorney David Sleigh filed a motion this month to dismiss the charges against Jody Herring.

Herring is accused of shooting social worker Lara Sobel outside a state office building in Barre (BAYR'-ree) last August after killing two cousins and an aunt in nearby Berlin.

Sleigh's court filing says as a result of mental disease or defect Herring is unable to communicate fruitfully with counsel and is unable to meaningfully help in the preparation and presentation of her defense.

The state plans to oppose the motion to dismiss the charges.