ROCHESTER, Ind. — A judge on Wednesday sentenced an Indiana woman who struck and killed three children last year as they were crossing a street to get to their school bus to four years in prison and three years of home detention, according to multiple reports.
A jury convicted Alyssa Shepherd, 25, in October on three counts of felony reckless homicide in the October 2018 crash that left Alivia Stahl, 9, and her 6-year-old twin brothers, Mason Ingle and Xzavier Ingle, dead. An 11-year-old boy was also injured.
Authorities said Shepherd struck four children as they were crossing the street to get to a school bus that had stopped Oct. 30, 2018, in front of a mobile home park in Fulton County. Police said at the time of the crash, the bus had its lights flashing and its stop arm down.
Shepherd testified at her trial that she saw the flashing lights that morning, but didn’t realize they belonged to a bus, WPTA reported.
Relatives of the victims expressed disappointment at the sentence handed down Wednesday. Brittany Ingle, the victims’ mother, was escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs after she charged Shepherd and struck her, WNDU reported. Fulton County prosecutor Michael Marrs told the news station she’d likely face a battery charge for the incident.
The victims’ grandfather Michael Schwab said family members had hoped a judge would give Shepherd more prison time, according to the South Bend Tribune. She had faced a maximum sentence of 21 years in prison.
“We all feel as a family that killing three children should have been a more stringent penalty, but we’re glad that she is going to get some time served,” Schwab said, according to the Tribune. “Children remain our greatest gift and if you’re not going to hold people accountable when they get hurt, then we may as well just get rid of laws.”
Records from Fulton County Jail showed Shepherd was booked Wednesday to begin her sentence.
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