He wants his name cleared. Chris Soules returned to Iowa court on Thursday, Sept. 14, for a hearing regarding the fatal car accident he was involved in earlier this year. In a five-minute pre-trial hearing, the 35-year-old Bachelor alum did not speak, reports NBC affiliate KWWL. Acording to the outlet, Chris’ lawyers did all the talking and asked the judge to dismiss a charge against him for allegedly leaving the scene of the accident, which occurred in April near his hometown of Aurora, IA.
KWWL reports that Chris’ legal team said that they reached an agreement with prosecutors to withdraw a bill of particulars — which is a written agreement of charges or claims made by a plaintiff — and to update some of the language in documented trial information. However, the severity of Chris’ charge (a class D felony) was not amended. According to KWWL, Chris’ attorneys still plan to pursue a dismissal, and a hearing is scheduled for Oct. 10.
As Life & Style previously reported, Chris was arrested at his home in Iowa after he rear-ended a tractor with his pickup truck — killing a 66-year-old local farmer. “My family and I are overwhelmed with this tragedy, but we are sticking together and we’ll get through it,” Chris told In Touch in his first statement following the crash. “Thank you for reaching out.”
In June, it was reported that Chris was not under the influence at the time of his near-fatal car crash. “The DCI conducted thorough toxicology testing on two separate samples – his urine and blood – and conclusively determined no detectable amounts of alcohol or drugs were in either specimen," court documents — obtained by People — read. "Furthermore, Mr. Soules has not been charged with any alcohol related offense. Rather, Mr. Soules has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.”
Keep reading below to find out everything we know so far about the accident.
Chris' mug shot. (Photo Credit: Splash)
Chris was charged with a class D felony for leaving the scene of an accident causing death. He was not charged with driving under the influence, although court documents obtained by People magazine reveal that he was allegedly in possession of alcoholic beverages and containers at the time of the crash, which occurred around 8 p.m. on Monday, April 24.
Although he allegedly fled, it was revealed that he did stop to check on the driver and call the police — staying on the call for about five minutes. In the audio recording of his 911 call obtained by TMZ, Chris sounds winded and upset as he tries to give the exact location of the accident to first responders. “I rear-ended a guy on a tractor,” he can be heard saying. “He’s not conscious.”
Shortly after the call ended, another car reportedly came to pick Chris up. When deputies found him at home, Chris allegedly refused to leave, causing the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department to obtain a search warrant in order to arrest him hours later.
Chris was arrested around 1:16 a.m. on Tuesday, and spent the night in jail until his mother, Linda, posted the $10,000 bail, Entertainment Tonight reported. He's currently wearing an ankle bracelet to monitor his whereabouts and was ordered to turn in his passport — which means he will have to back out of filming a Bachelor-related special that was scheduled to take place out of the country.
“Chris Soules was involved in an accident Monday evening (April 24) in a rural part of Iowa near his home. He was devastated to learn that Kenneth Mosher, the other person in the accident, passed away. His thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Mosher’s family,” a statement to People magazine read.
Shortly after news broke, fans rushed to Chris’ Instagram page, flooding his posts with comments either defending or slamming him for the accident.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Robert Roepke, whose daughter is married to the victim’s son, spoke out in defense of Chris. He called the accident “very tragic” and “sad.” He also said that Kenneth and Chris knew each other because their farmland shared a border.
“Chris comes from a good family and is still well-vested in farming. He’s got a great life ahead of him,” he told People magazine. “This is a serious bump in the road and I don’t know about his [alleged] alcohol issue but I just know that this was a huge mistake. It’s something he’s going to have to deal with for the rest of his life. It just ended very tragically.”
Chris has at least 14 offenses on his record that date back to 1998, according to Iowa state court records obtained by Entertainment Tonight. Most of them are vehicle-related.
Andi Dorfman and more stars from Bachelor Nation commented on Chris' accident.
"It's all very sad," Andi told Entertainment Tonight. "I haven't talked to Chris yet but, knowing him, I know that he is probably devastated."
His former fiancée, Whitney Bischoff, released a statement saying, "This is a very sad situation. I’m keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers, especially the victim and his family."
Britt Nilsson, who competed on Chris' season of The Bachelor, also sent her condolences to the reality star and the victim's family.
"With a heavy heart, I pray for both men's families today. I believe that Chris is an upstanding and honorable man, as is now fully coming to light with the discovery of his 911 call," she told TooFab. "I found it hard to believe that he would not report the accident, so this new information, revealing that he did call the police to report it, definitely feels more true to character than the original story of a hit and run. I deeply grieve for the victim and his entire family today, as the shock waves of pain and loss must be almost unbearable. I pray that people respect them, and give them space and time to heal. I also pray for Chris, as he must be filled with guilt, regret, and confusion. In all our time together, he was nothing but a gentleman and always cared for those around him. My heart goes out to everyone surrounding and involved in this horrible accident — I pray for peace, reconciliation, and hope in the midst of such a terrible circumstance."
A judge has denied Chris Soules' motion to dismiss a felony charge against him stemming from the April 24 car accident that killed The Bachelor star's neighbor.
According to documents obtained by Us Weekly, the Iowan farmer will still need to appear in court for allegedly leaving the scene of the crash. His lawyers argued that there was no probable cause for the charge because evidence showed the reality star called for help and checked the victim's pulse following the collision.
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