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Vampire clan mom pleads in sex case

 
Published Nov. 16, 1997|Updated Oct. 2, 2005

The mother of the accused leader of a vampire clan charged with killing a Florida couple pleaded guilty to trying to entice a teenage boy into having sex as part of a vampire initiation ritual.

Sondra Gibson, 35, pleaded guilty Friday to criminal attempt to first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor, a felony.

Her attorney, Steve West, made a plea stipulation that Gibson was guilty of the crime but was mentally ill when it was committed.

Gibson is the mother of Rod Ferrell, the teenager who allegedly led a blood-drinking "vampire" group. Ferrell is awaiting trial in Tavares on two counts of murder in the beating deaths of a Eustis couple in November 1996.

Ferrell, 16, Scott Anderson, 17, Dana L. Cooper, 19, and Charity Lynn Keesee, who also called herself Sarah Remington, are charged in the slayings of Richard and Ruth Wendorf. The couple were the parents of another clan member, Heather Wendorf.

Gibson could have faced a prison sentence up to five years, but Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Ward agreed to five years probation in lieu of a three-year sentence. Calloway Circuit Judge Dennis Foust will formally sentence Gibson on Jan. 9.

Gibson appeared almost uninterested as Dr. Robert B. Sively testified about her competency to stand trial. After Sively's brief testimony, Gibson decided to accept the plea bargain offered earlier by Ward.

A grand jury had charged that Gibson tried to entice a 14-year-old boy into having sex as part of initiation as a vampire. Gibson sent the boy letters full of sexual references, comments on vampirism and immortality.

Sively's testimony revealed that Gibson wanted to join the vampire cult like the one her son was in, and the sex she attempted to have with a juvenile male was a "rite of passage."

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Leah Cooper said the criminal intent on Gibson's part was present, even if she did not have sex with the boy.