Former Bachelor Chris Soules will avoid jail time for his role in a 2017 fatal car crash, receiving a suspended sentence Friday after pleading guilty to a count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident in 2018. The reality star instead received the 2-year suspended sentence and a $625 fine.
TMZ first reported Soules' sentence after he appeared in front of a judge in Buchanan County, Iowa court, where he was facing up to two years behind bars for the aggravated misdemeanor guilty plea. According to TMZ, Soules officially accepted the plea that would keep him out of jail and under probation under the Iowa Department of Correctional Service.
Soules was originally facing upwards of 20 years for a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, but in November 2018 struck a plea deal to lessen the charge.
As previously reported in 2017, Soules was driving a Chevy pickup truck when he rear-ended a John Deere tractor driven by 66-year-old Kenneth Moser, sending it into a ditch. While the former ABC star called 911 to report the accident, prosecutors claimed he left the scene before police arrived. Moser was taken by emergency personnel to the hospital, where he died due to his injuries and Soules was later arrested at his home.
In June 2018, it was authorities revealed that Soules did not have drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his arrest.
The Hollywood Reporter obtained audio of Soules' call to 911 in 2017, which indicated that Soules performed CPR on Moser before leaving the scene. This audio was used by the former Bachelor star's attorneys to file for a dismissal of all charges that was not accepted.
"For whatever reason, the charging officer failed to include in the Complaint and Affidavit that Mr. Soules provided his name and accident location to the telecommunication arm of law enforcement prior to his departure," attorney Gina Messamer wrote in the motion to dismiss obtained by the publication at the time. "Nor did the charging officer mention that Mr. Soules had rendered emergency aid to Mr. Mosher. Ultimately, Mr. Soules’ 911 call establishes probable cause does not exist for the charge against Mr. Soules."0comments
"Mr. Soules did not depart the scene until he was assured emergency personnel had the situation in hand," Messamer continued. "As a matter of law, the State cannot prove Mr. Soules did not render 'reasonable assistance.'"
Photo credit: Buchanan County Sheriffs Office via Getty Images