(KSDK) - On Tuesday, St. Clair County, Ill., Judge Milton Wharton released the taped confession of a former Metro East teacher accused of nearly killing a 17-year-old high school student.
On the videotape, Sam Shelton, 26, admits to choking Ashley Reeves and leaving her for dead in a Belleville park in April 2006.
“I have no idea where she is. If I knew where she was, I’d let you guys know,” Shelton told St. Clair County authorities.
Shelton’s story changed several times during the interview. At first he denied having a relationship with Reeves. Later he admitted the two were involved in a sexual relationship.
The tapes will be entered into evidence when Shelton stands trial in late-July.
Shelton spent nearly eight hours talking with authorities on April 28, 2006, the day after Reeves went missing.
(Extended Video: Shelton talks to St. Clair County, Ill., investigators )
In the videotapes, Shelton tells the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department he hardly knew Reeves. Ultimately, he said he argued with Reeves in his car and heard her neck snap.
In the final hours of the tape, Shelton broke down and agreed to take authorities to Citizen’s Park, where he said he left Reeves.
(Extended Video: Shelton leads investigators to Reeves )
"(I) carried her, stumbled half the time, falling ... to a wooded area and I, I tied this thing around her neck to make it look like somebody choked her out there,” said Shelton.
Reeves is still recovering from her injuries.
Shelton’s defense team was unsuccessful at getting a judge to throw out the taped confession. His trial will take place outside St. Clair County in a venue to be determined.