A "Control Freak"
Gets His Day in Court
It was opening
day of the Dale Herring trial and the courtroom was packed. The
ten-woman, two-man jury had listened attentively to prose-cutor
Marianna Lebedeff's opening statement cataloging the evidence
of Herring's brutal rape and near-lethal attack on Kimberly Ramming
last July 5th.
years old and terminally ill, had escaped the 26-hour siege by
jumping out the window of her Rohnert Park apartment and screaming
to neighbors to call police.
day Kim Ramming, sorely bruised and battered, told police investigators
that Herring was waiting at her apartment when she returned from
running errands. He immediately verbally attacked her, accusing
her of seeing another man. The prosecutor then detailed Kim's
account of a beating that raged throughout the apartment as she
tried to escape the blows. When she tried to call police, Herring
ripped the phone from her hand, dragged her into the bedroom and
threw her onto the bed.
straddled her, smothered her with a bed pillow, then put his hands
around her neck and started choking her. Through it all, Kim stated,
he was yelling, "I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill
you and your brother! I'm going to light your body on fire!"
suffered from endometriosis, a condition that made sex excruciatingly
painful, said Herring also raped her, put his fingers in her anus
and vagina and tried to sodomize her. Police took Herring into
custody, along with his computer and a bag full of child pornography.
Twenty-four hours later, Kim Ramming was dead, drowned in her
bathtub with high levels of fentanyl in her system.
Robert Stewart had defended Herring previously in Board of Pharmacy
proceedings that had suspended his pharmacist's license for diverting
narcotics for his personal use. Stewart approached the jury, a
kindly look on his face, and said, "Ladies and gentlemen,
what we have here is essentially a love story."
Stewart's explication of Dale Herring's alternative universe -
a universe in which he was the injured party, he the one physically
attacked, he the victim of Ramming's lies, fraud and drug addiction.
Portraying Herring as the ever-patient caretaker, instantly smitten
and "spiritually connected" with Ramming and vowing
to "comfort her until she dies," Stewart expressed shock
that anyone could even think Herring would hurt Kim - after all,
"He just loved her to death!" (We're not making this
up! He actually said that in the courtroom!)
But Herring's story was a little hard to sell. It called for a
fentanyl-addicted Kim Ramming conniving to get extra drugs so
she could kill herself. Yet the records showed it was Herring
who had falsified Rite-Aid pharmacy records to double and triple
the dosages of the powerful narcotic dispensed in patch form for
Kim's constant pain.
to one witness we interviewed, Kim had advised the pharmacy not
to deliver prescriptions Herring was sending, reported to Kaiser
Hospital that she thought he was drugging her food and, on the
morning of the attack, was documenting bogus prescriptions she
claimed Herring had filed in her name at other pharmacies.
And that messy
report of the July attack? All made up by Kim, Herring said, to
get him out of the way so she could kill herself. Never mind that
Herring had just been out of town for weeks, giving her all the
time in the world if suicide were her intention.
And her injuries
- lacerations above one eye, inflammation of the throat, bruises
and red marks on her legs and back, vaginal lacerations, swelling,
and bruising, and a fresh laceration on her breast - never mind
that they correlated perfectly with her description of the attack.
Never mind that her DNA was found on his penis, or even that her
autopsy showed fractures in the cartilage in her throat showing
she was strangled almost to death.
sure he could come up with an explanation for everything, no matter
how implausible. After all, Kim Ramming was dead, so who was left
to refute his version?
But the jurors weren't fooled, anymore than the women with the
Purple Berets who maintained a constant presence in the courtroom
during the five-week trial. The physical evidence was so slam-dunk,
Herring's story so fanciful, his obsessive-compulsiveness so apparent
to all in the courtroom that the trash-the-victim strategy could
than a week of deliberation, the hardworking jury convicted Herring
on four felony counts, including forcible rape, attempted sodomy,
false imprisonment and assault with intent to do great bodily
injury. He could face a maximum of 22 years in prison.
But it may be awhile before Dale Herring goes anywhere. At the
scheduled sentencing hearing on May 14th, sentencing was postponed
while the court considers Herring's motion for a new trial.
laughable reasons cited in the motion are:1) that the jury was
prejudiced by the presence of Purple Berets in the courtroom;
2) that the prosecutor and her investigator "giggled and
rolled their eyes" during Herring's testimony (a "crime"
I'm not sure they committed but everyone else in the court certainly
did, including the jurors); and 3) that the DA's victim advocate,
Miriam Gaon, sometimes sat with Purple Berets during the trial.
(And your point is???)
should be on your "don't-miss" list as Herring, the
consummate control freak, has fired his lawyer and will be acting
on his own behalf. It should be a hoot!
This is a
guy who fed his attorney every question asked of every witness,
acted as his own expert witness on pharmaceuticals, refused to
answer questions he didn't like from the prosecution, and now
says his attorney didn't do a good job!
As we go to
print, there's no date set for the hearing on the new trial motion,
and sentencing will probably be sometime in August. We'll post
the dates on our website as soon as they're set.
little danger Herring will win a new trial, the delay only draws
out the anguish of Kim Ramming's family who have suffered enough
delays and hateful attempts to taint the memory of their beloved
daughter and sister.
We'll be glad
when they - and we - never have to look at the creep again.
more on the Herring trial, click