Former 'Bachelor' star Chris Soules agrees to suspended sentence for leaving scene of fatal crash

Soules, who starred in the ABC franchise's 19th season, pleaded guilty last year to leaving the scene of a personal injury accident.
Iowa farmer and former TV reality show celebrity Chris Soules, center, listens during a hearing in court in Independence, Iowa, on Nov. 27, 2017.
Iowa farmer and former TV reality show celebrity Chris Soules, center, listens during a hearing in court in Independence, Iowa, on Nov. 27, 2017.Rodney White / The Des Moines Register via AP pool file

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By Doha Madani

A former star of television's "The Bachelor" on Friday agreed to a two-year suspended sentence for fleeing the scene of a fatal crash in Iowa two years ago.

Chris Soules, 37, was initially charged with a felony, fleeing the scene of a deadly accident, but entered a conditional guilty plea last year to the reduced allegation of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, an aggravated misdemeanor.

On Friday, his attorneys filed a request for a two-year suspended sentence that would "commit him to the supervision" of corrections officials in lieu of spending time behind bars, according to the document. The punishment was an option under the state's recommendations for the defendant.

The agreement would subject Soules to less than $1,000 in fines. He waived his right to allocution, a final explanation of guilt.

Such a no-jail deal was tied to his conditional guilty plea. The "Bachelor" star was scheduled to be formally sentenced Tuesday.

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Soules was driving a Chevrolet pickup truck in April 2017 when he rear-ended a John Deere tractor, north of the town of Aurora, according the Iowa State Police and the 911 call.

Kenny Mosher, 68, who was driving the tractor, died after the accident. Soules called 911 after the accident but then left the scene, according to court documents. Soules' guilty plea states that he left the scene without providing his registration to law enforcement or the 911 operator necessary by Iowa law.

In the 911 recording, Soules told the operator his name, that he rear-ended a tractor and that the man inside was unconscious.

Soules ended the call by telling the 911 operator that he would call her back.

He was scheduled for sentencing May 21 but it was rescheduled to allow the state to provide a revised pre-sentencing investigation to the judge after victim impact statements were removed from the record.

An attorney for Soules argued in court that the state could not prove that Mosher's death was a result of Soules failing to give authorities his registration and failed to prove that the accident was Soules' fault.

And as a result of that lack of proof, the attorney said, Mosher could not be defined a victim. Both Soules' attorneys and state prosecutors asked that the judge postpone sentencing until a new pre-sentencing investigation could be submitted.

Soules is a fourth-generation farmer from Arlington, Iowa, who starred on ABC's "The Bachelorette" in 2014. Despite not getting the final rose, Soules quickly became a fan favorite and was chosen to star on season 19 of "The Bachelor."

Soules ended his cycle on the popular reality-dating franchise by proposing to Whitney Bischoff, but the couple announced six months after the finale that the wedding was off.

Dennis Romero contributed.