Attorney General Curtis Hill applauded the Indiana Court of Appeals’ decision to uphold the conviction of a woman who struck four children – three of whom died – with a truck as they were attempting to board a school bus.
Alyssa Shepherd was convicted last year following a four-day jury trial on three counts of reckless homicide and other charges. On Oct. 30, 2018, Shepherd failed to stop for a school bus that had stopped to pick up children outside of a mobile home park in Fulton County. As two twin boys and their older sister crossed the southbound lane of State Road 25 to board the bus, Shepherd hit them with a truck, a collision that resulted in the children’s deaths. Shepherd also struck a fourth child, who has required 21 surgeries to address his injuries.
Shepherd appealed her convictions, arguing the state did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she acted recklessly and that the trial court abused its discretion when it rejected her proposed instruction on what evidence will not support a charge of reckless homicide. The appellate court rejected both arguments.
“We understand that no court ruling will fully soothe the pain felt by those who loved these precious children, but we hope this decision assists in healing their aching hearts,” Attorney General Hill said.
The appellate court also vacated Shepherd’s misdemeanor reckless driving conviction, finding that it was duplicative of her felony criminal recklessness conviction, which the state conceded. This will not affect her 10-year aggregate sentence. The court also remanded an issue regarding the suspension of Shepherd’s driver’s license back to the trial court.