Alyssa Shepherd has been released from prison. She was convicted of hitting and killing Xavier and Mason Ingle and their older sister Alivia Stahl, while passing a school bus with its stop arm out, on Oct. 30, 2018 in Fulton County, near Rochester.
Another student, Maverik Lowe, was seriously injured and has had more than 20 surgeries since.
Shepherd was sentenced to serve ten years in 2019, with four years to serve in prison. She attempted an appeal in 2020. That was denied. Shepherd completed a Bible study course, shaving six months off of her four years. She will stay in home detention for another three, and her driver’s license is revoked until 2032.
“They have certain things you can do to get time cuts,” said Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Mars. He has kept in touch with the family of the victims.
“They’re not happy. More difficult is you never forget what happened and this brings it all back up again. They’re having to deal with those emotions,” he said. Mars said he, the family and the state wanted to see Shepherd serve ten years. Mars said he had no doubt about her guilt.
“She doesn’t have a license for ten years, which I think is a positive. I don’t think she should be driving, ever,” he said.
He pointed out that Shepherd and the Ingle and Stahl families will have to live in the same community.
“Unlike Indianapolis or other places where you can live in the same community and never run into each other, Rochester, Fulton County is a small county of 20,0000 people,” he said. “I believe the defendant is starting a coffee shop or something here in town and that probably further adds to the difficulty.”
Mars said the case was controversial, with varying opinions about whether his office was pursuing an accident case too aggressively, and there is still some division. He said the deaths of the three kids leaves a wound that Shepherd’s somewhat early release (her original release date was September) has reopened for the family.
“The real difficulty for the family of the three particularly, that lost lost their three kids, she’s home with her kids starting today and they don’t get to see their kids again, at least not on this earth.”
Since the wreck, penalties for people who drive around school bus arms have been increased and police departments around the state have gotten tougher with enforcement.