Lifetime’s ‘Left for Dead’ about Millstadt murder attempt

Illinois

ST. LOUIS- More than 15 years to the day that then-17 year old Ashley Reeves was attacked and later dumped at a Belleville park and fought for her life, the Millstadt native’s story of survival is coming to cable television.

Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story, premieres on Lifetime Saturday at 7pm CT.

Reeves was strangled and dragged into a wooded area by Samson Shelton, a teacher at Freeburg High School. The two were in a relationship. Reeves told Crime Watch Daily in 2017 that she was trying to break off the relationship when a fight ensued.

Here’s how Lifetime frames the story:

After spending 30 horrific hours in the cold, gravely wounded, lying in the dirt, and paralyzed, the police find her alive. Her injuries are so severe that she must re-learn how to walk and talk. With no memory of what happened, she begins a long and painful recovery while searching her shattered memory to unlock the mystery of who did this to her. Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story is based on the extraordinary true story of an ordinary teenage girl who had to fight for her life three times; first in the woods, then in the hospital, and finally in court. Jennie Garth stars as Ashley’s mother, Michelle Reeves.

mylifetime.com

Shelton would ultimately plead guilty to first degree attempted murder. He’s eligible for parole in 2024.

“One of the things that drew me (to the story) was I could connect with the feeling of not being believed by people,” Anwen O’Driscoll, who plays Reeves in the movie, told the Sioux City Journal. “That was one of her huge struggles — not being heard and not being supported by a lot of people who were close to her.”

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