Chris Soules asks Iowa Supreme Court to intercede on his charge
Reality TV star Chris Soules appeared in court Monday as his lawyers argued the charge against him should be dropped.
Chris Soules' attorneys filed an appeal with the Iowa Supreme Court asking it to review the merits of the charge against him for his role in a fatal car crash last year in rural northeast Iowa.
At issue is a district judge’s January decision refusing to dismiss the charges against the former "Bachelor," who was driving a truck at about 8:20 p.m. April 24, 2017, when he rear-ended Kenny Mosher, 66, of Aurora, who was on a tractor.
After the crash, Soules called 911, identified himself, administered CPR and remained on scene until paramedics arrived. Mosher, who was transported to a local hospital, died later.
Soules was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal car crash, a class D felony. If convicted, he could face as many as five years in prison.
Soules' lawyers are asking the Iowa Supreme Court to interpret the specific portion of Iowa Code — 321.263(2) — under which the reality TV star is charged.
The court has interpreted other portions of the same Iowa Code relating to leaving the scene of a car crash and has "twice dismissed charges improperly brought under that statute," according to court documents filed by Soules' lawyers.
By filing an interlocutory appeal, Soules’ attorneys are asking the Iowa Supreme Court to judge the facts of the case before it goes to trial.
As "a public figure," Soules lawyers wrote in his appeal, "an unnecessary trial" could be "even more 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 … ," the court documents read. "Addressing this questionable and fundamentally unfair charge, given these facts, prior to trial, better serves the interests of justice."
Soules lawyers declined to comment on their appeal Tuesday. Buchanan County Attorney Shawn Harden was unavailable when reached Tuesday afternoon.
New details emerge
Soules' defense team also revealed new information about the night of the crash in their filing, citing minutes of testimony that are sealed to the public.
Soules was driving a pickup truck below the posted 55 mph speed limit, the court documents read. After the crash, four other individuals arrived on scene "nearly immediately."
While administering CPR to Mosher, Soules told an emergency dispatcher "that Mr. Mosher had blood coming out of his mouth and, after performing chest compressions, found a pulse," according to the filing.
"After blood began coming from Mr. Mosher's mouth and Mr. Soules stopped CPR, none of the other four individuals nearby on the scene restarted CPR," the documents read.
Soules remained on the phone with the dispatcher for more than 5 minutes, court documents said, and waited to direct emergency responders to Mosher.
"Mr. Soules did not depart the scene until several minutes later, after speaking with emergency responders and assured they had the situation in hand," the filing stated.
The tractor Mosher was driving was identified as a 2640 John Deere, which doesn't have an enclosed cab.