He’s not getting off that easy. Earlier this month, former Bachelor star Chris Soules filed an appeal with the to Iowa Supreme Court on Tuesday, Feb. 6, asking for the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident to be dropped before his upcoming trial. But on Friday, Feb. 23, the court denied his request.
“Upon consideration, the application for interlocutory appeal and request for stay are denied,” the court revealed in a brief statement obtained by USA Today. Now his case will go to a jury trial and he will be facing up to five years in prison if he is convicted of leaving the scene of a fatal car crash, which is a class D felony in the state of Iowa.
The 36-year-old’s legal team tried to remind the court that Chris attempted to perform CPR on the dying driver, Kenneth Mosher, before calling the police. The appeal also stated that there is no law in Iowa that requires a person to wait for emergency vehicles in a fatal crash. Last November, his attorneys attempted to have the same charge dropped but were denied by a judge.
Chris made a rare appearance at a wedding in September.
“Mr. Soules nevertheless took it upon himself to try to revive Mr. Mosher,” his attorney Gina Messamer wrote according to the NY Daily News. “Tellingly, after blood began coming from Mr. Mosher’s mouth and Mr. Soules stopped CPR, none of the other four individuals on the scene restarted CPR.”
She continued, “Because the minutes of testimony indisputably establish Mr. Soules contacted law enforcement, provided identification, and ensured medical providers were attending to Mr. Mosher before he departed the scene, he did not commit the charged offense and it must be dismissed.”
His attorneys are also hoping to avoid a trial completely since Chris is a “public figure” and an “unnecessary trial” could be “damaging.” “If Mr. Soules is forced to proceed to trial and then appeal, there would be no way to undo the publicity and restore Mr. Soules to his original position,” his lawyers stated, according to documents obtained by the Des Moines Register. “Addressing this questionable and fundamentally unfair charge, given these facts, prior to trial, better serves the interests of justice.”
More recently, a judge denied Chris’ request to dismiss the case, after his legal team claimed he had diminished capacity due to an existing medical condition because of injuries sustained in the accident. As Life & Style previously reported, Chris was arrested at his home in Iowa last April after he rear-ended a tractor with his pickup truck — killing the 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.” Chris is facing up to five years in prison.
Keep reading below to find out everything we know so far about the accident.
Chris’ mug shot. (Photo Credit: Splash)
He reportedly fled the scene of the crime.
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.
He called 911 and performed CPR before leaving.
Although he allegedly fled, it was revealed that he did stop to check on the driver, attempt to perform CPR, 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 reportedly driving under the speed limit.
His attorneys revealed more information about the night of the accident in court on Feb. 5 — and revealed that Chris was not speeding at the time of the fatal crash. It was reported that the reality star was driving his pickup truck under the posted speed limit of 55 mph when he hit the victim’s tractor.
He was released on bail.
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.
His spokesperson released a statement.
“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.
He has taken a social media hiatus.
Shortly after news broke, fans rushed to Chris’ Instagram page, flooding his posts with comments either defending or slamming him for the accident. His last Instagram post was on April 20, 2017.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
The victim’s family defended him.
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.”
This was not his first run-in with the law.
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.
Multiple Bachelor stars have spoken out.
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 in 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.”