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Judge blocks early release for Alyssa Shepherd, driver who killed 3 Fulton County school kids

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Posted at 1:39 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 13:43:09-05

FULTON COUNTY — A Fulton County judge has blocked Alyssa Shepherd from starting a program that would have cut 90 days off her prison sentence for the 2018 school bus stop crash that killed three children and injured a fourth.

Fulton Superior Court Judge Gregory L. Heller found that Shepherd is not eligible for the Department of Correction's Community Transition Program, which would have released her from prison in December.

"The court’s sentencing of 12/18/2019 was intended to transition defendant from the DOC to less restrictive supervision in the community," Heller wrote in his Nov. 27 order. "Allowing CTP (Community Transition Program) in this case would merely begin the term of community corrections home detention with electronic monitoring early, which was not the court's intention."

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On the morning of Oct. 30, 2018, Shepherd drove her 2017 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck around the stopped school bus and struck four children as they crossed the two-lane country highway in Fulton County.

Alivia Stahl, 9 and her twin half-brothers Mason and Xzavier Ingle, 6, died. Maverik Lowe, 11, was critically injured and has undergone more than 20 surgeries.

Shepherd testified at trial that she rounded a curve and mistook the bus and its bright flashing lights for farm equipment, according to court records. She said she never saw the bus's stop arm and did not see the children until it was too late.

The speed limit is 55 mph; Shepherd was going about 58 mph.

Shepherd previously shaved six months off her sentence by completing a faith-based course designed to reform criminal lifestyles, behavior and attitudes, Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs said.

In December 2019, Shepherd was sentenced to four years in prison, three years house arrest and three years probation for reckless homicide and criminal recklessness in connection with the crash.

Shepherd is being held at the Rockville Correctional Facility, records show. She is scheduled to be released from prison on March 18.

More: Here’s why Alyssa Shepherd could be released early from prison | Court rejects Alyssa Shepherd's appeal in deadly bus stop crash | Alyssa Shepherd, who killed 3 kids at Fulton County bus stop, sentenced to 4 years in prison

Contact WRTV reporter Vic Ryckaert at victor.ryckaert@wrtv.com or on Twitter: @vicryc.