Woman’s early release in deadly Rochester school bus crash denied

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A judge on Monday blocked the early prison release of a woman convicted in a 2018 crash that killed three siblings who were crossing a rural northern Indiana highway to board a school bus.

Fulton Superior Court Judge Greg Heller denied Alyssa Shepherd’s placement into a community transition program as early as next month after prosecutors and members of the victims’ families opposed the transition.

Shepherd was sentenced to four years in prison in 2019 after being convicted on three counts of reckless homicide in connection to the crash that killed 9-year-old Alivia Stahl and the girl’s 6-year-old twin half brothers, Xzavier and Mason Ingle.

In October, Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs filed a motion opposing Shepherd’s release into the community transition program, saying he and the victims’ families felt an early release was inconsistent with Shepherd’s actions.

Brittany Ingle, the mother of the children who died in the crash, wrote a letter to the court saying Shepherd should stay behind bars for as long as possible.

Heller’s ruling also comes after newly revealed public records show the Tippecanoe Valley School Corporation paid nearly $3.5 million to the families of the victims in settlement payments.

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