Public Safety

'Bachelor' star Chris Soules, charged in fatal crash, is in plea negotiations

Lawyers withdraw request for change of venue

Chris Soules
Chris Soules

INDEPENDENCE — Former reality TV star Chris Soules withdrew his motion late Monday to move his trial out of Buchanan County because he is in plea discussions with the prosecution.

His lawyers’ motion doesn’t provide details on the possible plea agreement in the fatal crash that killed 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher, of Aurora, on April 24, 2017.

Soules, 35, of rural Arlington, who appeared on ABC’s the “The Bachelor” and “Dancing with the Stars,” is charged with leaving the scene of the fatal crash. Authorities said Soules’ truck rear-ended Mosher’s tractor on Slater Avenue, north of Aurora, and Soules left before law enforcement arrived.

Court documents show “empty and partially consumed open alcoholic beverages” were found in and around Soules’ truck when first responders arrived on the scene. Soules also was seen purchasing alcohol before the crash.

Soules’ lawyers, however, have said two separate urine and blood samples, tested by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Crime Lab, were negative for drugs or alcohol.

After leaving the crash scene, authorities said, Soules returned home and refused to leave until authorities obtained a search warrant. Soules was not taken into custody for several hours after the crash.

Soules’ lawyers in previous hearings have argued that he did what the law required by not leaving the scene and performing CPR on Mosher until emergency responders arrived.

Earlier this month, Soules’ lawyers asked the court to move his trial, set for Nov. 7, out of Buchanan County based on pretrial publicity, arguing the size of the small community and amount of pretrial publicity made it impossible to get a fair trial. In light of plea negotiations and at the request of Soules’ lawyers, the judge canceled a hearing Tuesday where the change-of-venue motion would have been considered.

Details of the plea agreement should be finalized within the next 10 days, according to court documents.

A conviction on the original charge would have been up to a five-year prison sentence.

l Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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