ROCHESTER — A gag order has been issued with just over one month before a jury trial is expected to begin for a Rochester woman who is accused of killing three children and severely injuring another in a bus-related accident.
Alyssa Shepherd is scheduled to stand trial at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Fulton County, nearly a year after the fatal accident that killed Xzavier and Mason Ingle and their sister, Alivia Stahl, and seriously injured Maverik Lowe on Oct. 30, 2018.
Shepherd is charged with three felony counts of reckless homicide, level 5 felonies; one count of passing a school bus with the stop arm extended causing injury, a class A misdemeanor; and a charge of criminal recklessness, a level 6 felony, which was a charge added late in the process.
According to WSBT, a pretrial conference was held Tuesday, Sept. 10. During the conference, the judge issued a gag order, which prevents parties from discussing the case in public. The pretrial conference was a closed-door conference and Shepherd was not present.
During an April pretrial conference, Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs stated that the trial is expected to last two to three days.
The preliminary crash investigation related to the case revealed that a Tippecanoe Valley school bus was northbound on SR 25. At the time of the accident, the school bus was stopped in front of a mobile home park at 4684 N. SR 25. The bus driver activated the bus’ stop arm and exterior lighting while picking up children from the west side of the road. As children crossed the road to get on the bus, four children were struck by a southbound 2017 Toyota Tacoma driven by Shepherd.
The six-year-old boys and their sister attended Mentone Elementary School. Lowe attended Tippecanoe Valley Middle School.
During a probable cause hearing last October, Indiana State Police Detective Michelle Jumper testified regarding an interview she had with Shepherd after the accident.
“She said that she came around that corner, she saw that there was something with lights. She just knew it was something big that had lights, she did not recognize it immediately as a school bus. In fact, she said she was trying to figure out what it was. She knows she dimmed her headlights for it but she couldn’t make out what it was and by the time she realized … the kids were right there in front of her,” said Jumper.