Alyssa Shepherd may see release in December, leading to protest in Rochester
ROCHESTER, Ind. -- Alyssa Shepherd, who killed three children and injured a fourth after driving past a school bus stop arm, may be released a year early from jail.
Now, the mother of those three children and the Fulton County prosecutor are fighting that release.
“The state’s position from day one is that we requested a much lengthier, executed sentence," said Prosecutor Michael Marrs. "The judge didn’t grant it.
Brittnay Ingle, the mother of Alivia, Mason and Xzavier, who were killed nearly three years ago, protested the early release of the woman behind the wheel-- Alyssa Shepherd, who was sentenced to four years behind bars.
“She shouldn’t have even been eligible for time cuts!” said Ingle.
Shepherd is already looking to be released six months early after taking classes while incarcerated through programs from the Department of Corrections, but Shepherd could see release before the end of this year now that her release date has been moved up, becoming eligible for a community transition program.
Shepherd would be released back into the the community under house arrest, with GPS monitoring, and she would be able to hold a job.
“But that is something under Indiana code, the state can oppose, basically via a victim’s letter, opposing for good cause, you know, that there’s no reason for release, that it should be denied," said Marrs.
Marrs has filed an appeal against Shepherd's early release along with a letter from ingle, arguing that an early release from an already light sentence-- the prosecution argued she should serve for ten years-- trivializes the deaths of the three children.
“Mason, Xzavier and Alivia were individuals," said Laura Runkle, a friend of the family. "They had lives that were meant to be celebrated and enjoyed and they’ll never get to do that. So, that, really it bothers me.”
Ingle and others gathered at the Fulton County Courthouse to protest Shepherd's early release, before moving on to the site of Renewed Brew Coffee Company, where it is believed Shepherd will work once she is out of jail. Ingle doesn't want the judge to grant Shepherd's early release, feeling it would undermine the justice she has been seeking for her children.
“It’s not even about the accident anymore," said Ingle. "It’s about the way Alyssa Shepherd carries herself and how the family and her have chosen to handle this and really, bluntly put out there, that my kids’ lives didn’t matter. And I’m telling you if he does this today and let’s her out early for Christmas, it’s going to be bad.”
And Ingle isn't just protesting for her children, but for all children who have been killed or injured at bus stops, and is campaigning for stricter punishments for those who break bus stop laws."