Chris Soules' Attorneys Request Dismissal of 'Unconstitutional' Fatal Accident Charge
Chris Soules‘ legal team is asking the court to dismiss the fatal accident charge against him, claiming it “unconstitutional” that he be charged for not returning to the scene of the accident.
On Tuesday, attorneys for the former Bachelor star filed a motion to dismiss in the Iowa District Court in Buchanan County.
In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, the state alleged that Soules, 35, violated the Iowa code that states: “After leaving the scene of the accident, a surviving driver… shall immediately return to the scene of the accident or inform the law enforcement authors where the surviving driver can be located.”
However, Soules’ attorneys are refuting the last sentence of the code in new court documents, saying it should only be applicable when a surviving driver has not notified law enforcement of an accident while on the scene. (Soules did, in fact, contact authorities while on the scene of the accident.)
“This is a incurable defect in the State’s prosecution,” the documents filed Sept. 19 read. “Because Mr. Soules cannot be held criminally liable for failing to comply with an unconstitutional statute, the charge against him must be dismissed.”
“Mr. Soules fully satisfied the purposes of the statute by calling 911, giving his name to dispatch, administering CPR to Mr. Mosher, and staying on the scene until emergency responders arrived. Though Mr. Soules was shaken after the accident, he did everything in power to resuscitate Mr. Mosher,” the documents state. “Mr. Soules interacted with several other responders whom he recognized from his small community and at no point did he attempt to obfuscate his identify. Nevertheless, the State has charged Mr. Soules with a technical violation.”
Additionally, Soules’ attorneys say the requirement that a driver return to the scene or inform law enforcement of his location is “unnecessary to the noncriminal purpose of the statute” and “violates the privilege against self-incrimination.”
On April 25, Soules was arrested at 1:16 a.m. after a deadly car crash in Iowa, where he lives. According to the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office, Soules was charged with leaving the scene of the fatal car accident that left 66-year-old war veteran Kenneth Mosher dead.
Soules — who appeared on season 19 of The Bachelor in 2015 — was not charged with driving under the influence, though court documents reveal Soules was in possession of alcoholic beverages/containers.
The Iowa State Patrol alleged that Soules fled the scene. His vehicle was later found at a home that he was present at, and Soules allegedly refused to leave until officers obtained a search warrant several hours later.
“Mr. Soules would not come out of the home. It took hours to get a search warrant to retrieve Mr. Soules from inside of that house in order to continue the investigation. That took hours,” the state prosecutor said in court. “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 him regarding this individual and the [fatal] accident.”
Soules entered a not guilty plea in May to the charge of leaving the scene of the fatal accident in April. He called 911, identified himself and attempted to administer aid to victim.
In June, Soules’ legal team filed court documents, which were obtained by PEOPLE, that stated the former Bachelor did not have alcohol or drugs in his system following the fatal crash.
“A report issued by the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) Criminalistics Laboratory, Mr. Soules’ specimens were negative for drugs and alcohol,” his legal team said in the documents.
“The DCI conducted thorough toxicology testing on two separate samples – his urine and blood – and conclusively determined no detectable amounts of alcohol or drugs were in either specimen,” they continued. “Furthermore, Mr. Soules has not been charged with any alcohol related offense. Rather, Mr. Soules has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.”
According to the documents, Soules’ legal team also claims that the following are “not admissible” and has filed a motion that they not be used in reference to the case or presented to a jury: “Any evidence, testimony, reference, or argument that, on the night in question, Mr. Soules: 1) purchased alcohol, 2) consumed alcohol, 2) drove while impaired, or 3) had beer cans in or around his vehicle.”His team had also requested that Mosher not be referred to a “victim” during the trial. Mosher died at Mercy Hospital in Oelwein after his tractor and the pickup truck crashed, KWWL.com reported.
Soules’ trail is slated for January.