Chris Soules' new legal team releases lengthy statement, asks public not to "prejudge" case
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/28/2017
Chris Soules' new legal team has released a statement on his behalf as additional details about the fatal accident he was involved in continue to emerge.
"Chris Soules has retained attorneys Alfredo Parrish, Brandon Brown, and Gina Messamer of the Des Moines, Iowa law firm Parrish Kruidenier to represent him. Brown recognized the heightened level of interest because of Soules' celebrity status, but asked that members of the public do not prejudge this case based on media coverage. Soules' 911 call, released yesterday, proved that the initial knee-jerk coverage of this accident was incorrect," the law firm said in the statement obtained by People.
The Season 19 The Bachelor star's pickup truck rear-ended a farm tractor in the early evening on Monday, sending the John Deere tractor and its driver, 66-year-old Kenneth E. Mosher -- who later died at the hospital -- into a ditch on the side of the road.
Soules, a 35-year-old farmer from Arlington, IA, was released from the Buchanan County Jail in Iowa on Tuesday morning when his mother Linda Soules posted his $10,000 bond, The Des Moines Register reported.
Soules was booked on a felony charge of leaving the scene of a deadly accident, which could carry a five-year prison sentence if he's convicted.
"While initial reports suggested Soules fled the scene, the 911 call confirms that Soules in fact was the one who contacted law enforcement immediately. During the call, he clearly identified himself and explained his role in the terrible accident," the law firm continued.
In audio of the emergency phone call obtained by TMZ, the reality TV star was breathing heavily while speaking to a dispatcher, and he sounded like he was possibly crying. Soules also apparently checked the victim's pulse.
"Soules attempted to resuscitate Mr. Mosher and remained on the scene with him until emergency medical personnel arrived. Soules' attorneys are exploring the possibility of a gag order to prevent further misinformation from prejudicing Soules' right to a fair trial," Parrish Kruidenier told People.
Authorities say Soules' pickup truck was damaged and he left the scene of the crash with another driver -- who could also face charges -- in a different truck before emergency responders arrived, according to the Associated Press.
Open containers of beer were reportedly found in Soules' pickup truck that was towed from the scene, however, it remains unclear whether Soules was intoxicated while driving. He did not sound impaired during his 911 call.
"Soules' legal team is working to gather all of the evidence and review the facts of this tragic collision. They have already filed a demand asking law enforcement to preserve possible evidence and anticipate filing additional motions next week. His attorneys are confident that once all the evidence is made public, it will show Soules acted reasonably and did everything in his power to provide aid to Mr. Mosher," read the statement.
Assistant Buchanan County Attorney Jenalee Zaputil had made no mention of Soules' 911 call during his initial arraignment hearing on Tuesday morning and stated Soules -- who was arrested at his house several hours after the accident because he refused to come outside and police were forced to obtain a search warrant -- had not contacted authorities about the incident.
"At no point did Mr. Soules come out of the house or cooperate with law enforcement... at any point, in trying to get in contact with them regarding this individual and this fatality accident," Zaputil told the judge at the hearing.
Authorities have seized Soules' cell phone and are looking into whether he was texting or browsing photos and/or social media at the time of the crash.
If evidence is found that Soules' phone was in use and he was a distracted driver, he could face a vehicular manslaughter charge, according to TMZ.
The law firm representing Soules concluded in its media statement, "Due to the nature of the pending charges, neither Soules nor his counsel will be making any statements at this time. Soules and his family request that their privacy and the privacy of Mr.Mosher's family is respected. Everyone in this close-knit farming community is mourning Mr. Mosher's passing. Soules offers his sincere condolences to the Mosher family."
Soules is scheduled to appear in court again on Tuesday, May 2.
In addition to starring on The Bachelor in 2015, Soules also previously competed for Andi Dorfman on The Bachelorette's tenth season as well as Season 20 of Dancing with the Stars and the Food Network's Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition.
Soules previously told Entertainment Tonight he'd consider a stint on Bachelor in Paradise 4 this summer, but he's currently unable to leave the country and remains under supervision and electronic monitoring.