Left for Dead: The Ashley Reeves Story (2021) Movie Script

- Guys, go this way.
Guys. Guys.
- There she is.
- God.
- Dispatch.
We're gonna need the Coroner.
- She's breathing.
She's breathing!
Call an ambulance!
Stockett: Dispatch,
we need an ambulance.
Hundelt: You're gonna be okay.
You're gonna be okay.
Help is on the way.
- Yeah, got a pulse.
Paramedic: Load it up.
- It's her, it's her.
Ash! Wha... what happened?
Ashley, are you okay?
Can you hear me?
Dr. Edison: You'll have to stay
here. Stay right here.
She's in good hands.
- I could stay with her--
- Stay right here.
She's in good hands, okay?
We'll take good care of her.
I've never seen this level
of brutality in my life.
No one could survive this.
- What happened?!
- It's okay.
- They uh...
they're doing everything
they can.
- Okay.
- Thank you.
- Oh God.
- It's okay.
- What?
- That was not
how the song goes.
- Oh yeah? How do you know?
- You always, always
get the words wrong, I swear.
- You should consider maybe
it was the songwriter
who actually got 'em wrong, so.
- You're ridiculous.
- I mean, songs are...
they're about feelings, right?
Michelle: Ashley!
You guys get the rolls?
- We better go.
- Yeah, I got 'em, Mom.
- Okay, dinner's ready.
- Here we go.
- Hey! Sorry I'm late.
- Oh no, no,
you're just in time.
- Absolutely.
- Hey, Ashley?
Ash! Can you bring the tongs?
Yeah, sorry, Mom.
Mike: Hey Nance.
Nancy: Hey.
- Ed, uh, says hi.
He's sorry he couldn't make it.
- I gotta get that mower back
to him.
- What mower?
What, what mower?
- The red one.
It's a long story.
- Oh, no, do you want
my potatoes?
I'm not eating them.
Oh, that's so awkward.
- Oh my goodness, two pieces?
- Are you hungry?
- I'm not that hungry.
- Thanks again for dinner,
Mrs. Reeves.
It was delicious.
- You're very welcome.
- Yeah, it was really great,
- When did you say
you're taking those SATs?
- Um, the fourth.
- Oh.
- I'm gonna help her study.
- Yeah, he totally aced it
two years ago.
- The English part,
but she'll crush the math
no problem.
- Oh, well, I remember being
pretty good at math,
if you want any help.
- I'll be fine.
- Okay!
I just remember it being
a lot harder than I expected.
- Leave the kids be, Michelle.
- Thanks, Aunt Cathy.
- Um, I'm here if you need me.
- I've got it.
- Okay.
- Thanks again.
- You're welcome.
Drive careful.
- I'll be right back.
- All right.
- What?
- I know that look in your eye.
What is it?
- I dunno what you're talking--
- Oh, you've got a secret?
Tell me. Spill it.
What is it?
- Um...
your parents would freak if
I got you an engagement ring.
But I, I...
I wanna spend the rest
of my life with you, Ashley.
Here, let me help you.
- Oh thanks, Hon.
Uh, something you wanna
tell me?
- It's a promise ring.
- Yeah, I can see that.
- Just don't tell Mom and Dad.
- I didn't realize things
were getting so serious.
- Yeah, it was a surprise.
- A good surprise?
- I, I love Danny.
I can't imagine my life
without him.
I, I just...
- You're only 17.
- Yeah.
It's a really big step.
- You two always with
your heads together.
- I ate so much
I think I'm gonna pop.
- Oh man, I should've sent
Danny home with some leftovers.
We have a lot.
How is he, by the way?
I didn't really get a chance
to talk to him.
- He's fine.
- Yeah?
- Mm-hmm.
- Nothing new?
- No, its same old, same old.
- I'm gonna go put these away.
Dr. Edison: We're doing
everything we can,
but there's still no
perceptible response
to outside stimuli.
Ashley remains in a persistent
vegetative state.
- What does that mean?
- We don't know
if she will ever wake up.
Chloe: So I went up
to him after class
and I was like, "Why didn't
you say anything?"
And he was like,
"Boys will be boys."
- Hey, Sam!
- Oh...
- Oh, hey, Danny!
How's it going?
I didn't see you at tryouts.
- Yeah, I'm pretty bummed
I won't be able to make
softball this year.
- Oh my God, Ashley,
it's Sam Shelton.
- What, do you guys know
each other?
- Uh, he coached our basketball
in grade school.
All the girls had a crush
on you.
- I remember you.
- Yeah, you didn't, you didn't
put me on your team.
- Sorry.
So, what are you up to now?
You must be what, juniors?
Chloe: Juniors.
- At Belleview West, right?
- I am, but...
- Yeah, I'm stuck
at Douglas Creek High.
- Stuck?
- They, uh, they changed
the district boundaries
and made me transfer
away from all of my friends.
- That's rough.
- Yeah, tell me about it.
- We miss her.
- Um, are you still teaching?
- P.E. and Driver's Ed
at Freeburg High.
Still coaching softball too.
- That's cool.
- Are you still
into basketball?
- Yeah, when I get the chance.
- We meet up for hoops
every Saturday at noon
over at Millstadt Park.
You guys should swing by.
Both: Yeah.
- Yeah, that sounds like fun.
- You can count on it.
- Well, uh... maybe I'll see you
next week.
Danny: Yeah, see ya.
- Chloe! Oh!
- Are we playing badminton
or basketball?
- Oh my God, he's so hot.
I'm just sayin'.
- Two free throws.
Chloe: Come on, Danny.
- Nice shot.
- Nice!
- Nice!
Let's go, Ash!
- Woo!
Danny: Yeah, Babe.
- See? Should have put me
on your team.
- I don't know what
I was thinking.
You're really good.

- Ash! Dr. Edison!
- Step back, please.
- She's seizing. Nurse!
Nurse! Two milligrams
of Lorazepam.
Thank you very much.
- I know you're in there.
You gotta let us know.
Come on, Baby, fight.
If you can hear me,
bite my finger.
Bite my finger.
Oh, I knew it! Mike!
Mike, she can hear me!
- What?
- She bit my finger.
Hey, Baby, I'm right here.
- Well, it's probably
just a muscle spasm.
- She's trying to talk.
- Huh.
Ashley, I'm going to ask you
some questions
and I want you to blink once
for yes
and twice for no.
Do you understand?
- Do you recognize the people
in this room?
Do you know that
you're in a hospital?
- Do you like broccoli?
- She's conscious.
- Hey, kiddo.
- Quite frankly, I'm amazed.
We need to get her into
physical therapy right away.
I know this is a big moment,
but you all need to hear
the truth.
There will be things
that Ashley will have
to re-learn.
Eating, talking,
uh... using her hands.
There will be things that
she won't be able to do again.
She may never walk again.
She could need help
for the rest of her life.
- Now you're just showing off.
- What, no Chloe or Danny?
- Danny is working
and Chloe is sick.
- Well, uh...
none of my friends
showed either.
- Is everything okay?
It's one of my students.
He's been having some
troubles at home.
- Well, if you need
to call him I can--
- Oh no, hang on. He just
needs some quick advice.
I'll call him later
and see how it went.
- That's nice of you.
- That's why I love teaching.
I have a chance to really help
these kids.
It's such a critical age.
You're just trying
to figure things out.
One wrong choice and...
listen, if you ever
wanna talk about...
I'm happy to be an ear for you.
- Deal.
- You know why I remembered you?
It's 'cause you're special.
You stood out
from everybody else.
I knew you'd have a bright
future ahead of you.

- Right up here.
This is your new room.
Just be careful of the doorway,
okay? Thank you.
Thank you.
Oh hey, hey could you--
Thank you.
There we are.
Well, this is nice, right?
It's a better room.
- Hi.
- Hi.
- Hi Ashley. I'm Mia,
I'm gonna be your physical
- Hi, I'm Michelle.
I'm her mom.
- Nice to meet you.
These braces will help
straighten out
your hands and feet.
I'm so sorry.
This is going to hurt.
All right? It's okay.
Deep breaths.
There you go.
- Shh, shh, I know.
Mia: It's okay. It's okay.
Shh. Okay.
- Your muscles have been
clenched for so long -
that's why it's so painful.
But we need to get your limbs
back in proper position
so we can retrain your muscles
and get everything working
- I know, I know, I know.
- It's okay, Honey. I'm here.
- Hi, Ashley,
I'm Detective Steve Johnson
from the Sheriff's Office.
I um...
I just wanna ask you
a few questions, okay?
- One blink, that means yes.
- Do you understand
that you're injured?
Do you remember what happened?
Do you recall anything at all
about how you got hurt?
- You know what? I think
that's enough for one day.
Why don't we try this
another time?
- Mm-hmm.
- Ashley, hey.
You're a very, very brave girl.
I'm gonna leave you alone now.

- Shh, shh, shh.
You need your rest, okay?
Just rest.

Mia: 'Kay,
we're gonna work on
fine motor skills.
All right?
Almost there.
- I know.
Much better, huh?
- Remember your breathing,
Good posture,
deep breath, through the nose,
then out through the mouth.
- Good.
I want you to give the ball
a little squeeze.
Don't think too much about
trying to squeeze the ball.
Just see if you can bring
your fingers close together
as tight as you can.
- It's gotta be so frustrating
just blinking yes and no.
- This letter board will help
you communicate a little more.
- No running!
- Whoa!
What in the world?
- Teresa called in sick.
- All right, you.
I'm Cathy's niece.
My name is Ashley.
What's yours?
- Jacob!
- Jacob! What a big voice
you have, Jacob.
So things seem a little
too crazy in here right now,
but tell you what. If we calm
down just a little bit,
I'll read you and your friends
a story.
And you will get to choose
the book.
- I get to pick?
- Mm-hmm.
Wow! This is a good one.
Can you be a big help
and take me to your friends?
- Thank you.
Another napkin.
You were a lifesaver today.
- I'm glad I could help.
- Can I hire you?
- I had fun.
They're really,
really sweet kids.
- Oh, you were so great
with them.
Seriously, do you wanna come
work with me this summer?
- Really?
- You can't expect to hold
a letter just yet,
but we'll get there.
What I'd like you to do
is point to a letter
and I'll help you
put them in place,
so you can tell me what
you were trying to say.
- W...
- T.
You want some water.
- Okay. I'll be right back.
Okay, we're gonna practice
- Okay.
Are you sure this is safe?
- Yes. I've added some
thickener to the water,
which gives it the consistency
of nectar.
We don't want you to choke.
I know you haven't had a sip
of water in weeks,
but fair warning,
this is probably
gonna taste awful.
- Okay, that's okay.
Mia: That's okay.
Just rest a second.
You wanna try again?
- Okay.
Take it a little slower
this time.
- Oh wow.
- It's... so... good.
It's so... good.
Mia: Your first words.
Good job.
- I'm so proud of you.
Good job, Honey.
Superintendent: Uh, a number
of staff and students
wanted to send cards.
- Oh...
- And I wanted to show you
the flyer
for the 5K fundraiser.
The school district's
and, uh, we've got a great team
handling the publicity.
All proceeds will go towards
Ashley's medical bills.
- This is all so incredibly
generous of you.
Thank you.
- It's the least we could do.
I think we'll get
a pretty good crowd.
- Insurance isn't covering
most of her rehab,
so this'll really help.
- We're all pulling for Ashley.
- Thanks.

You've always had such
pretty hair.
I could braid,
if you want me to.
Oh, Sweetheart.
- Why?
What happened to me?
The, the cops and the TV.
- You were attacked.
Left in the woods.
It's been all over the news,
so we had the TVs taken out.
You don't need to see
those stories.
You just need to focus
on getting better.
- Who?
- Sweetheart...
- Who?
Who did this to me?
- Sam Shelton.
ow is Ashley?
What was the nature
of their relationship?
- What has Ashley said
about Sam Shelton?
- How long will she be
in the hospital?
- Sir?!
- Sheriff, was she obsessed
with him?! Any comment?!
- You're, you're wrong.
Sam wouldn't do this...
to me.
He's my friend.
- Sam led us to you.
I was hoping you could recall
what happened to you
the day you were attacked.
- Sam's saying it was
an accident,
which makes no sense to us
well, considering
the circumstances
and where we found you.
- I... can't... remember.
- Okay, you know what?
Let's give her some time.
Johnson: Of course.
Thank you.
Reporter: How is Ashley doing?
- Are those people here for me?
- It's a big story,
you and Sam.
Sheriff told us that
during his interrogation,
Sam claims that...
you two had a sexual
Is that true, Ashley?
- Yes.
- What happened?
Why didn't you come to me?
Sam: Yeah, but you've had
other boyfriends.
- Not really.
- Danny's your first?
- Uh...
- Hey, we're just two friends
keeping it real.
There's no judgement, okay?
So, you're having doubts?
I love Danny.
- Are you ready
to decide forever?
Look, Danny is a nice guy,
but don't feel like you
have to rush into anything.
You got your whole life
ahead of ya.

Michelle: I could've helped
you. I...
I would've known
that there was something off
about a teacher who wants to be
friends with a teenage girl.
- He is my friend.
- No.
No, he is not your friend.
The night you disappeared,
I talked to Sam.
When you didn't come home,
we called everybody -
Danny, Chloe, Aunt Cathy.
We went through your cell phone
and one number kept coming up
over and over
and I didn't recognize it,
so I called it.
Sam answered.
He lied to me.
He told me he hadn't seen you.
He said, "I'm sure she's fine,
He was out dancing.
He went on a date hours
after he attacked you
and left you to die
in the woods.
Judge: How do you plead?
- Your honor, not guilty.
This is all a big mistake.
- This was an accident.
We want people to know
that we will fight this.
Mr. Shelton is innocent
of the charges
that have been brought
against him
and I have full faith in the--
Female reporter: Mrs. Reeves!
Are things getting back
to normal for your family?
- There isn't very much normal
in our lives anymore.

- Hey.
- Hey.
I've got your laptop
and brought your favorite DVDs.
- Thank you.
- Hey, check, check this out.
Now I'm not flopping like
a beached whale anymore.
- I'm starting solid foods...
- We'll have you eating
cheeseburgers in no time.
- Ah, I would kill
for a chili cheese melt.
- Ashley, here let me help you.
- No, no. I got it.
Don't be sad.
- I'm not sad.
- I'm sorry...
about Sam.
The only thing that matters
right now, Ashley,
is that you feel better
and you get better.
- I uh...
I don't understand...
why it happened.
- Maybe I was pushing you
too hard.
- This is not your fault,
It's not your fault.
- Yeah.

- Come on, Ashley.
You don't wanna fall behind.
- What's the point?
- To get better.
- What if this is it?
You can't promise that...
that I'll get better,
can you?
- You suffered a traumatic
brain injury.
- How?
What did Sam do to me?
- He strangled you.
- Wha...
M-my body is broken and...
I just want my life back.
- I know.

- Almost there.
Come on, you can do it.
- Be strong, Baby. Up. Push.
- Come on.
- I can't...
- Okay.
- Maybe we should just take
a little break.
Mia: Of course.
Johnson: Hey.
Any memories from the day
of the attack?
- I... I have... nightmares.
Just little flashes.
None of it makes sense though.
So, uh, Sam is trying to get
his confession thrown out.
- Can he do that?
- Well, we did everything
by the book,
but he's hired
a high-priced lawyer
and the guy's a shark.
So, he'll look for any legal
- That's why we need you, hmm?
Anything you can remember.
Anything at all,
no matter how small.
Even if it doesn't feel
tell us.
It could make all
the difference.
Sam: Get out!
Ashley: I don't know
where to go.
Stop! Stop!
You're hurting me!
- It's okay, I'm right here.
You're all right, Honey.
You're okay.
I don't want Sam
to get away with this.

- Come on.
- Oh.
- Come on.
- Let's take a break.
You can't ever tell anybody,
If this gets out,
I'd lose my job.

Ashley: No.
I wanna go again.
- Your honor, my client has
close ties to the community.
He's a well-loved teacher
and a respected citizen
of this town.
He lives with his mother
and is a big help to her.
He is not a flight risk.
We therefore ask
that you reduce his bond
so he can go home.

- My client has no comment
at this time.
Please respect his privacy.
No, I'm sorry.
Come on.
Reporter: You said this was
a mistake. Can you elaborate?
- How can he get away
with what he did?
- He'll be under house arrest.
- He tried to murder
my daughter.
- I know.
We're not giving up
the fight,
- Hey.
We will get through this, okay?
- I'm just so scared for her.
I'm scared for all of us.
- I know.
Reporters: Sam! Sam!
Do you have a comment
on the case?
- Sam, do you have anything
to say to Ashley or her family?
- What was the nature of your
relationship with Ashley?
- Sam, how does it feel
to be home?
- What were you doing with
Ashley Reeves that day?
- Sam, are you guilty
of these charges?
- Sam, you said this was a
mistake. Can you elaborate?
- Hey, Jenna.
What're you doing?
No, I can't talk about that.
It's not what you think.
Yeah, the truth will come out.
I just got home,
and you are the first person
I called.
Know why?
'Cause you're special, Jenna.
You stood out
from everybody else.
You wanna come over?
- Is it okay to come in?
- Yeah, of course.
- Hi.
- Mm.
- Oh. I am so sorry.
- Yeah. Thank you.
- Ed sends his love.
How is she?
- Um, she, she's doing Ptwice a day.
- Good.
- She's still so weak though.
We have a long road ahead.
- How are you holding up?
- I'm fine. Yeah.
I'll be fine.
- Sweetie, you can be honest
with me.
- Some days
I can barely keep it together.
I mean, where did I go wrong?
How did this happen to my kid?
- If there's anything I can do
to help...
- This is good.
- They never tell you how hard
it's gonna be,
being a parent.
- No, they don't.
- Like where's the manual?
- Right?
Hey, don't blame yourself.
Kids have a mind of their own.
You can't watch them 24/7.
Michelle: Two...
Ashley, come on.
- No.
- 10 more reps, okay?
- I'm tired.
- Well, I'm tired too.
Your dad's tired.
We're all tired, Ashley.
What were you thinking
sleeping with your teacher?
In what world is that okay?
- I don't wanna talk
about that.
- Well, it's too bad.
We need to talk about it.
- What good is that
going to do?
- What--
When did you stop
feeling like you could
trust me?
- I never felt that.
- Then why didn't you say
something? Anything?
- Because I'm not a child.
- You're my child.
Let me be your mother.
- I wanna have my own life,
You can't protect me
from everything.
- You know what?
I was young once, like you,
and I remember
what it was like.
I remember how confusing
all the feelings were.
- Mom, this is not about you.
I made a mistake,
and I am paying for that.

- You may have made a mistake,
but you don't deserve this.

Let's go again.
I will walk at the fundraiser.
- One step at a time.
- Hi.
How's the confession going?
- Um, we haven't heard yet.
- Hmm.
What if he does this
to someone else?
- Okay.
That's, that's good for today.
There we go.
- I uh... I read somewhere
that music
is good for helping
the brain heal,
so here.
Hundelt, Stockett and I,
we, we all chipped in.
We've got your back, Ashley.
- I'll remember.
- That's the girl.
- I heard she had an abortion.

- Please?
- Honey, I just don't think
you're quite ready.
- I'm just so tired
of this hospital.
It's been two months.
- I know, I know,
but you still need rehab
every day.
- I promise I'll do it.
I work hard.
- I know you do,
and you've come so far
and I'm so proud of you.
But you still need
to get better.
- I'll get better
if I get out of here.
- I miss my house.
And I miss my room
and I...
even miss that stupid crow
squawking outside
every morning.
I just...
I need some kind of normal
I'm coming home.
- Mike.
- What, there's more reporters?
What are they doing here?
- Mom.
- Don't worry about it.
All right? Let's just don't
say anything, okay?
- All right.
- No comment all around.
- Mr. Reeves! Mr. Reeves!
- 'Kay, guys, look,
can we get a bit of space here,
- How is your family coping?
Ashley, Ashley, any comment--
- How does it feel to be
out of the hospital. Ashley...
- Put your arm around me.
One, two, three. Up we go.
Michelle: Careful.
- What kind of sentence
are you hoping for?
- Ashley, what was the nature
of your relationship?
- Ashley! How long did the
relationship with Sam last?
- Did your family know about
the relationship with Sam?
- Were you in love with Sam?
Aunt Cathy: Have some respect.
- Mrs. Reeves, Mrs. Reeves,
have you spoken
with Sam Shelton?
- Mr. Reeves, were you aware
of your daughter's
relationship with Sam?
- Ashley, how long will
your recovery be?
- Do you have plans to testify?
- Home sweet home.
- All right, nice and easy.
- All right, we'll give you
guys some... time.
- Yeah.
How's it feel?
- It feels... different.
But really good.
It's um, it's Saturday.
You should be going
and doing something fun.
- Ashley, I'm...
I'm fine right here.
- This isn't really fair
to you, Danny.
I hurt you.
And my life is um...
it's so different now.
- Well, that shouldn't matter.
- No, it does though.
It does.
For both of us,
and you know that's true.

You were my first love.
I just um...
I need to find my own way
- Here.
- No, it's okay.
I am gonna try.
- Okay.
Here, let me help you.
- Is it always gonna be
like this?
- You just have
to keep trying.
- What is my life even gonna
be like?
I don't know.
But I've seen your progress
every single day,
everything you fought back from.
- I'm still in this chair.
- We thought we lost you.
- I'm sorry.
Am I gonna...
be able to work
and have a family?
Just... have a life of my own?
- He has taken so much
from you.
Don't let him take your dreams.

- You wanna try and walk?
Mike: You wanna do that?
Stick up.
- All right.

You know what,
let's get you home, okay?
Here. Sit down.
There we go.
- Okay.
- Oh, Sweetie.

Sam: Get out!

- These are all her books.
- Thank you.
- We don't want her to lose
a year.
- No, we don't.
- So how's she doing?
She looked well
at the fundraiser.
- It's nice to have her home.
- She must need a lot of care.
- She does, yeah.
I took a leave of absence
from work.
- This... whole thing
has been so unfortunate.
We feel so bad for Ashley
and, and your family.
- I should go.
- Look, um...
just so you know,
um, Sam's been with the school
district for years.
I knew him well.
It's just so hard to believe.
I didn't, I didn't think...
- You didn't think what?
- He comes from a good family.
Sam's never been a problem.
- Are you making excuses
for him?
Mike: I feel like
I just paid this.
Hey, Nance, come on in.
- Hi.
- Hi.
I, uh, I made something
for the family.
- Oh, aren't you a sweetheart.
- Yeah, I can't imagine
the strain y'all under.
- Yeah, it's been rough.
- I was hoping you'd have
some relief by now.
- I don't know how much more
of this we can take.
- These things can just drag on
forever, you know?
- Yeah.
- Ed and I were talking
the other night.
Maybe it's best for everyone
if you just...
move on, you know?
- No, I don't know.
- Best for you and Ashley.
And, and, and best for
the Sh... the Shelton's.
Well, it's like Ed said,
why ruin Sam's whole life
over one bad moment?
I mean, we may never really
know what happened.
Mike: Unbelievable.
- What happened is that man
attacked our child
and left her for dead.
I think you should go, Nancy.
- Okay. Okay.
- Why is this taking so long?
- Well, we're uh...
we're expecting a ruling
this week.
I think we'll have
a sympathetic judge.
- How could they not be
- I hate to say it,
but I see it all the time.
Men represented as boys
when they're in trouble,
but, uh, women,
well, women should know better.
- Who's the victim here?
- We just have to trust
the system will work, okay?
You're not gonna believe this,
but, um, a woman
came to see me.
Turns out Sam asked her
daughter over to his house.
- What?
- Yeah.
There's nothing I can do.
The girl's 18.
- Ashley.
- Sam had a girl over
in his house?
- Yeah.
- I wanna see the photos of me
in the woods.
- Uh, that's not a good idea.
- Stop trying to protect me.
I need to understand
what he did to me.
It might help me remember.
Johnson: You ready?
Ashley: Yeah, I'm ready.

- How long was I out there?
- Thirty hours.

- Detective Johnson.
Oh, that's great news.
Okay, thanks.
Judge upheld the confession.
The trial's going forward.
- I wanna testify.
- You don't have to.
- No, I do.
- Sam's side is gonna
victim blame.
- This is my hometown.
People need to hear from me
to understand what he did.
They need to see that
I'm not the person
they've made me out to be.
That this isn't my fault.
I survived this.
I'm ready for whatever
they throw my way.

- What is it?
- I've been wanting
to ask you something.
Gosh, it's hard to say.
- It's okay, you can go ahead
and say it.
- I'm... I'm so confused...
about this, this whole thing
with Sam.
I'm just, I-I guess
I'm just trying
to wrap my head around it,
you know,
since, since the whole thing
I mean, Sam's a great guy,
and we all loved him.
It's just not making
any sense to me.
- I know.
- So, your parents are gonna
sue him.
I mean, his family
is really rich.
- What? No.
- What were you doing with him?
- He was just really nice and...
fun to hang out with and...
he seemed...
so smart about life.
I mean, yeah, of course
I thought he was cute,
but we all did.
I never thought we were
anything more than friends.
- I heard you went up
to his room.
- I'm not trying to excuse this.
It just happened so fast.
- Don't get me wrong,
I like it here.
I just, I need an escape,
you know?
So a couple times a month
I go to St. Louis
and I wrestle.
- Yeah, I, uh,
saw your pics online.
- Oh, you looked me up, huh?
- I... I...
you have a lot of fans.
- Yeah.
You should get the hell
out of town too
and see what's out there
in the world
just waiting for you.
I love Millstadt.
It's where I wanna live
and, and work
and raise a family.
Maybe I can do that with Danny.
I don't know,
I just wanna...
figure that out for myself,
I guess.
- Oh, that's good for you.
- Are you okay?
- Nah, my stomach hurts.
- I-I uh...
- Oh, Sam.
- I've got meds at home.
Would you mind driving me?
- Yeah. Yeah, of course.
Oh man.

- Are you, um,
feeling any better?
- Much. Thanks.
- This is such a big house.
- It's my mom's.
It's great for me though.
I don't have to pay rent.
I can save up.
- Well...
- Come on.
I'll give you the grand tour.
- My mom's gone so much
I usually have the whole place
to myself.
I can do whatever I want.
That is where I play poker
with the guys.
And this...
this is my bedroom.
- Um...
I should probably go.
I, I need to get back.
- There's no place
that you need to be.
- Sam.
Sam, I can't do this.
- Come on.
You've been putting out
the vibes to me
ever since we saw each other.
What did you expect
was gonna happen
when you came upstairs with me?
You're the one who wants this.

- I was just really confused.
He was really nice to me.
I thought we were just friends.
- But you slept with him?
- Where is Sam's responsibility
in this?
- But what did you do to Sam
to make him do this to you?
- I can't do this.
How am I supposed
to finish high school
if I can't even write?
- I know you have it in you.
- You know the kids at daycare
still ask about you
all the time.

Dispatch: All units,
all units be advised
we have a possible
suicide attempt.
423 Pinewood Drive.
Paramedic: Mr. Shelton?
Paramedic: Mr. Shelton!
Sam: Go to hell!
Screw you!
- Mr. Shelton, calm down.
Johnson: Hey.
- Doesn't look like he took
enough to do any real harm.
- Of course not.

- Thankfully Sam is on
the mend.
But he's been demonized.
He never meant to hurt
this girl.
We're concerned that
we won't get a fair trial.
We want people to know
that we will fight this.
Mr. Shelton is innocent of
the charges that have been--
- He's... he's just trying
to get sympathy.
- It won't work.
- What if...
what if people feel bad
for him?
What if they're on the jury?
- Listen to me.
It doesn't matter what stories
they put out there
or what lies Sam tries to tell.
When you get on that stand
and people hear you,
they're finally gonna know
the truth.
- He's not the victim.
I'm stalling out.
- You're not.
- Look at me.
I haven't made...
any progress in weeks.
- It's normal to hit a plateau.
- I wanna walk.
I wanna be able to stand
on my own two feet.
- You know I never made
any promises.
But I've been watching you
for months now
and I can honestly say this,
I believe you will.

- Get out!
Michelle: Ashley?
You okay?
- I remember.
- Just take your time, okay?
- Um...
we were in a car
and he was... yelling at me.
- Do you remember what
he was saying?
- No.
But I do remember feeling
really bad.
It was a mistake...
and I... I wasn't happy.
I was trying to get away
from Sam.
- Okay.
He got pissed and that's
when he attacked her.
It-it's a viable theory.
Listen, she, she was trying
to get away from this guy.
Think about what that
would do to his ego.
Mike: She's tough.
Just like her mom.
- She's got twice my fight.

Aunt Cathy: What're you
making with yours?
You don't even know.
- Hey there.
- Hi.
- Ashley!
- Hi, Jacob.
I'm sorry. I, I can't,
but I can read you a book
if you want?
You always pick the best books.
- What's wrong with your hands?
- Um... I got hurt,
but it's okay.
Some people are...
they just have different
What would you do
if you saw someone
who was a little bit different?
Someone like me.
- I'd help!
- Come on, let's go read it.
- You hired me for a reason,
Lis-listen to me now.
All right, she is cooperating
with the police
and she is going to tell them
everything she remembers!
- It was an accident.
You should've got this
whole thing dismissed.

- Sam, she's gonna be
a very powerful witness.
Do you understand that?

- Uh, I got it.
Um, yeah.
Hi, Detective Johnson.
Yeah, okay.
Thanks for letting us know.
All right. Bye.
- What?
- What did he say?
- Sam's taking the deal.
- So, what, that means
I can't testify?
- Look, it's over, kiddo.
You know maybe
that's for the best.
- No. No.
It's just another way for him
to get away with this.
I... I want my life back.
Not to only be able
to walk again -
my whole life.
I want people to know
that I'm more than that girl
who slept with her teacher.
And they're not gonna know that
unless I tell them.
I can't have a life
in Millstadt
unless people know the truth
about what Sam did to me.
I thought he was my friend.
I want an apology.
I need to face him.

- You got this.

Bailiff: Please rise.
Bailiff: Be seated.
- Thank you.
- We are here today
for the sentencing
in court case number 2357.
The people v. Samson Shelton.
Mr. Shelton,
you have pled guilty
to one count of attempted
first-degree murder.
Do you wish to make
a statement?
- No, your honor.
- Very well.
The court is prepared
to hear from Miss Reeves.
- My name is Ashley Reeves.
On April 27th, 2006,
I was left in the woods -
in the cold, in the dark,
for 30 hours - to die.
This was no accident.
Sam Shelton tried to murder me.
- Get the hell out of my car.
Ashley: I... I don't--
- Get out!
- I don't know where to go.
I'm not getting out of the car!
I can't go anywhere.
Sam! Just take me back
to my car!
I don't know where we are!
What're you doing?!
- Get out!
- No! No!
No! Stop!
- Get out!
- Stop! Stop! Stop!
Ahh! Sam!
Stop, you're hurting me!

- Ashley.

- I later learned that...
instead of taking me
to the hospital,
he drove me to Citizen's Park.
He carried me deep into
the woods
so no one would find me.
He dumped me on the ground...
and I couldn't move.
I couldn't speak.
I was completely at his mercy.
And as I lay there,
gravely wounded,
unable to help myself,
Sam took the belt
from around his waist,
put it around my neck
and started choking me.
When I fought back
with what little fight
I had left,
he took his foot
and he put his full weight
against my back.
He choked me
until I stopped moving.
who I thought was my friend,
buried me,
with leaves and with dirt,
and left me there,
alone and broken,
discarded like a piece
of trash,
And then he went out dancing.
I've struggled so hard
this year.
I had to re-learn how to walk,
and how to talk,
and how to feed myself.
I went from being a normal,
healthy teenager
to not being able to swim
or ride a bike...
or play basketball -
all things that I love to do
and things that I may never
be able to do again.
I had to dig deep
and fight to get my voice back
in every way.
I worked hard to be able
to stand on my own two feet.
And I had to face
my own hometown,
where some people thought
that this was my fault.
Why is it a different set
of rules for men and women;
that "boys will be boys"
and girls are just
"asking for it"?
I made a mistake,
and I own that,
but I didn't deserve this.
Thank you to the St. Clair
County Sheriffs
for bringing Sam Shelton
to justice.
And thank you to my family...
for standing beside me.
For everything.
I hope that the next time
a girl gets attacked
that she won't be blamed
for it,
and that the guy
won't be excused.
She deserves better.
I deserved better.
Sam Shelton did this, not me.
I was just a normal girl
trying to find her way.
I could've been you.