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State issues response to Alyssa Shepherd's appeal request in deadly school bus crash case

Alyssa Shepherd.JPG
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jul 01, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — The State of Indiana has filed a brief with the Indiana Court of Appeals in response to an appellant brief submitted by a Fulton County woman who was convicted of striking and killing three children and injuring a fourth in October 2018 while they crossed a state highway to get on a school bus.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Ellen Meileander filed the 53-page document on June 25 on behalf of the state.

Alyssa Shepherd, 25, of Rochester, was convicted of three counts of reckless homicide, recklessly passing a school bus and criminal recklessness. In December, a judge sentenced her to four years in the Indiana Department of Correction, three years of home detention, and three years of probation.

In the crash on Oct. 30, 2018, Shepherd struck and killed three siblings — Alivia Stahl, 9, and her twin brothers, Mason and Xzavier Ingle, 6, and injured Maverik Lowe, then 11 — while they were getting on a school bus.

The state's brief responded to four main points Shepherd argued in her appeal.

  1. The state says in its brief it presented sufficient evidence, which showed Shepherd saw the school bus with its flashing lights ahead on the road.
  2. The state argued that "driving past a stopped school bus without stopping or even slowing down constitutes reckless conduct."
  3. The state agreed that Shepherd's convictions on criminal recklessness and recklessly passing a school bus charges constitute double jeopardy because she "recklessly drove past a stopped school bus with the stop arm extended and injured Maverik as a result." The brief said the misdemeanor conviction for reckless driving should be vacated.
  4. The state disagreed with Shepherd's assertion that the consecutive suspensions of her driver's license are illegal because "she did not raise this objection in the trial court and is raising the issue for the first time on appeal."

A date for Shepherd's appeal hearing has not been set.

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