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Sam Shelton Made Ashley Reeves Lose Faith In Humanity

[Updated on 27, May 2022] Ashley Reeves and Sam Shelton relationship is not like an ordinary tale. Let’s find in the article why Ashley regretted her relationship.


Ashley Reeves looks to have everything in her life, as per the Lifetime real story ‘Left For Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story’. 

Ashley Reeves was an outstanding student, a good basketball player, and had a loving family, a boyfriend, and lots of friends.

But, it is a mystery why someone like Ashley would have drawn herself into the vulnerability to be involved in the attractions of a teacher who set out to ruin her. 

The Lifetime film tries to explain this question, but the reason remains a mystery. As we observe in the movie, Ashley has only one relationship with her boyfriend Danny, who presents her with a promise ring at just 17. 

However, it’s a move that fails, with Ashley apparently starting by even thinking about such a level of commitment so quickly.

It’s this perplexity on whether to keep her promise to her boyfriend or to keep her choices open, not just relationship-wise. Still, with regards to life, that heads to Ashley trusting in teacher Sam Shelton. 

‘Left For Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story‘ has all the ingredients that followers of other Lifetime true-crime tales will enjoy.

Who was Sam Shelton?

Besides being Ashley’s teacher when she was in the seventh grade, Sam Shelton was a gym coach and a pro wrestler. They met again in February 2006, two months before she disappeared.

Who was Sam Shelton?

In the movie ‘Left For Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story’, we witness Sam’s tricks to fascinate young Ashley. 

We later see Sam’s standard line, which he uses with other young girls in the film, telling them that they are special, and work on Ashley. After all, Ashley seems to get more emotional validation from her family and friends due to her friendly nature. 

In the film, Sam’s manipulative acts and the appearance of an upset stomach made Ashley come to his house, where they then become intimate.

Ashley, in the movie, through irregular flashbacks due to her memory loss, clearly imagines the incident and expresses this to Sam, who is bothered he will miss his job if news of their intimacy gets out.

How Sam Shelton Attacked Ashley Reeves?

In ‘Left For Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story’, we notice Sam trying to force Ashley out of the car after it’s clear that Ashley believes they made a mistake by being intimate. 

However, according to Sam Shelton’s conversations with the police, he needed to end the relationship, and Ashley denied it, which was when he was attempting to get her out of the car.

How Sam Shelton Attacked Ashley Reeves
The Sam Shelton Story (2022 Updated)

To get Ashley out of the car, Sam Shelton used a chokehold on Ashley. When she went weak, he realized he had caught her neck.

In confusion, he pulled Ashley into the forests, choked her with his belt, and strangled her with his hands.

Ashley was then left lifeless by Shelton, who ‘buried’ her with trash and leaves in the woods. Shelton left the fuss and then went out dancing. 

While the police initially focussed their doubts on Ashley’s long-term boyfriend, they soon realized that perhaps Sam Shelton was the one behind Ashley’s disappearance. 

After a twelve-hour investigation in which Shelton turned his story many times, the mention of his grandmother made him break down and admit it.

Shelton was then the one to guide investigators to Ashley’s body in Citizens Park, found only 12 minutes away from Ashley’s home. Ashley was discovered 30 hours after her attack, deadened and severely wounded but still breathing. 

As Ashley slowly crawls her way back to improvement in the film, she questions her mother, who did this to her since she initially has no memory of the occurrence. 

When her mother Michelle (Jennie Garth) tells Ashley it was Sam Shelton, Ashley’s first response is that it’s not possible because Sam is her friend. 

A friendship that turned out to be the biggest mistake of Ashley’s life, which badly hurt her physically as she had to learn how to talk and walk and eat again and emotionally as she bore the judgment of an inappropriate connection with a teacher. 

Where is Samson Shelton Today?

Even though Samson Shelton had admitted, he was discharged on bail and placed under house arrest quite swiftly. 

Consequently, just before he was to face trial, the police reacted to an attempted suicide call made from his home; he’d eaten a possibly lethal mix of prescription medications and alcohol. 

There was a handwritten “do not resuscitate” sign on his chest, but as EMTs moved in to recover him, he reportedly charged them, spitting and hitting. Then, in the hospital, he supposedly threw racial accusations and made a disturbance.

A district judge thus questioned Samson’s mental well-being.

After a month of medical evaluations and claims by prosecutors that Samson was attempting to get empathy from the public and viable jury members, he was officially discovered to be mentally fit to stand trial. 

Finally, though, in 2007, he took a plea agreement signed off by Ashley’s family and the District Attorney’s Office. He was sentenced to attempted first-degree murder and jailed to 20 years in prison as per the same.

Samson had charges of attempted battery against his name for hitting the responders during his possible suicide attempt, but they were dismissed in February 2010. Samson denied addressing the court or even apologizing to his victim when given a chance.

Sam Shelton Age 

So, today Sam Shelton, at the age of 41, he remains imprisoned at the medium-security Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg. He will be qualified for parole in spring 2024, but his original projected discharge date is April 22, 2027.

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