ROCHESTER, Ind. (AP) — A special prosecutor should be appointed to determine whether a northern Indiana woman will be charged in an attack on a woman who had just been sentenced in a crash that killed her three children at a school bus stop, county prosecutors said.
Fulton County prosecutors asked a judge in a filing Thursday to appoint a special prosecutor that they cannot be unbiased in deciding whether Brittany Ingle should be charged in the Dec. 18 attack on Alyssa Shepherd. It unfolded after Shepherd was sentenced to four years in prison in the deaths of Ingle's three children.
Both women were exiting a courtroom after the sentencing when Ingle rushed past the guard holding Shepherd and hit her in the head “with what appeared to be her hand/elbow,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
Shepherd’s head appeared to hit a courtroom wall after she was struck by Ingle, it states. Shepherd received a CT scan, but did not suffer any injuries, the South Bend Tribune reported.
Ingle was removed in handcuffs, charged with preliminary misdemeanor battery and later released. Fulton County Prosecutor Michael Marrs said she has not been formally charged in the attack.
Marrs said he doesn't feel his office could be unbiased in handling Ingle's case because of how close his staff came to her and her family while working on the case against Shepherd.
As Fulton County's sheriff restrained Ingle after the attack, she told him she was upset because of the outcome of the case against Shepherd and the deaths of her three children, according to the probable cause affidavit.
A jury convicted Shepherd in October of three counts of reckless homicide and other charges in the October 30, 2018, crash that killed 6-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl.
The siblings were crossing a highway with another child to board a school bus when Shepherd plowed into them with her pickup truck, killing them. The fourth child, Maverik Lowe, 11, suffered critical injuries and has had more than 20 surgeries.
After the crash, Shepherd told authorities she didn't realize that she was approaching a stopped school bus, despite the activated stop arm and flashing lights. She told police she saw the lights but didn't recognize the vehicle as a school bus until the children were right in front of her.
Indiana's Legislature increased penalties for drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses following the deadly crash.