Prosecution opposes Chris Soules' motion to dismiss charges, reveals 'The Bachelor' star purchased alcohol before crash
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 05/02/2017
Prosecutors are opposing Chris Soules' motion to dismiss the charge against him of leaving the scene of a deadly crash, and have also revealed the formerThe Bachelor star purchased alcohol shortly before the accident that killed a fellow Iowa resident.
The felony charge could carry a five-year prison sentence if Soules is convicted.
In court documents filed on Tuesday, the Buchanan County Attorney's Office called the motion by Soules' lawyers to dismiss the felony charge "premature" and revealed open alcoholic beverages discovered in and around Soules' pickup truck after the crash last week were purchased "shortly before the accident," The Des Moines Register reported.
Both empty and partially-consumed containers of alcohol were reportedly found, and the county prosecutor's motion claims Soules was spotted purchasing that alcohol at a convenience store before he rear-ended a John Deere farm tractor in the early evening of April 24.
The impact sent the 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.
While a Monday dismissal request filing by Soules' lawyers stated the reality TV star made no attempt to "obfuscate his identity" by offering his name and taking responsibility for the crash in the 911 call he placed after the accident, the state wrote in its filing that Soules did "attempt to obfuscate the immediate facts and circumstances surrounding the accident."
The state alleges that Soules concealed such facts and circumstances, for example, by not providing an "explanation of the empty and partially consumed open alcoholic beverages located in and around his vehicle that he was seen purchasing at a convenience store shortly before the accident," The Register reported.
Prosecutors reportedly say Soules needed to do more than identify himself to authorities after the accident, claiming he was supposed to "immediately return to the scene of the accident or inform the law enforcement authorities where he could be located."
Soules "did neither," according to the filing obtained by The Register.
As previously reported by the Associated Press, Soules left the accident with another driver -- who could also face charges -- in a different truck.
Soules was arrested at his house several hours later, around 1AM on April 25, because he allegedly refused to come outside and police were forced to obtain a search warrant.
"The only permissible reasons for which [Soules] could leave the scene of the accident in the first place was to seek necessary aid or report the accident to law enforcement authorities," the prosecution filing reads, according to The Register.
Soules was booked into the Buchanan County Jail early Tuesday morning on the Class D felony charge of leaving the scene of a deadly accident, but he was reportedly released when his mother Linda Soules posted his $10,000 bond.
Soules' lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the charge against him on Monday.
In court documents for the dismissal obtained by The Register, Soules' legal team alleges the criminal complaint against him is "factually incorrect," insisting "it is indisputable that Mr. Soules has not violated" Iowa Code regarding personal injury crashes.
"A recording of a 911 phone call placed by Mr. Soules provides real-time evidence that Mr. Soules unhesitatingly identified himself and his role in the accident to dispatch and tried his utmost to resuscitate Mr. Mosher," the motion reportedly reads.
"Mr. Soules described the location of the accident and communicated with dispatch for approximately 5 minutes and 45 seconds while help was en route. The evidence will further show that emergency responders arrived on the scene shortly after Mr. Soules concluded his 911 call. Mr. Soules remained on the scene with those emergency responders for several more minutes before returning to his home."
According to The Register, Soules' lawyers say prosecution against the former The Bachelor star "must be dismissed" because he satisfied the letter of the law as well as the spirit, adding that "probable cause does not exist to establish Mr. Soules committed the charged offense."
Chief District Court Judge Kellyann M. Lekar was assigned Soules' case Monday on a "preliminary basis," according to court documents.
An additional motion for continuance was also filed and granted this past Friday, although a reason was not cited, and Soules' first hearing -- initially set for May 2 -- has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 9 at 2PM at the Buchanan County Courthouse in Independence.
Soules is a longtime resident of Arlington, IA, where his family owns and operates a farm.
In addition to starring onThe Bachelor's 19th season, Soules also competed for Andi Dorfman onThe 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.