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Metro-East teacher will plead not guilty to near killing

By AP/KWMU

Belleville, Ill. – The Metro-East teacher who's accused of beating a student and leaving her for dead plans to plead not guilty and fight the charges. That's according to Samson Shelton's lawyer.

Shelton was charged this weekend in the attack on 17-year-old Ashley Reeves, who was found in a Belleville park on Saturday with a broken neck. Investigators say she'd been laying exposed to the cold and rain for 30 hours.

Shelton's attorney also says his client is on suicide watch at the St. Clair County Jail. He's being held on $1 million bond and faces two counts of attempted murder and aggravated kidnapping.

Reeves remains hospitalized in St. Louis.

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