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Grand jury indicts teacher accused of debilitating teenager

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU/AP

Belleville, IL – A St. Clair County grand jury dropped two charges against accused attacker Samson Shelton and let stand one count of attempted first degree murder Friday.

The former high school teacher is charged in the beating of 17-year-old Ashley Reeves, who was found unconscious in a Belleville Park April 29.

Shelton has no prior convictions, but St. Clair County State's Attorney Bob Haida says if Shelton is found guilty, the state will seek an extended sentence of up to 60 years in prison.

"Ultimately, from my experience, what drives a sentence is the nature and circumstance of the crime," Haida said. "And so, what we will attempt to prove, what we believe we will prove about the conduct in this case we think warrants the request that we will make."

Shelton will be formally arraigned June 30th. He is currently under house arrest, attached to electronic monitoring.

Reeves is undergoing rehab in St. Louis.