Explaining Chris Soules' charge - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Explaining Chris Soules' charge

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A preliminary hearing for Bachelor star Chris Soules is announced in a deadly crash case.

It's set for May 9 in Buchanan County, and judges are sealing warrants that let authorities take blood and urine samples, including one which allowed them to enter his home after the crash.

Legal experts say it could jeopardize the investigation.

The crash happened Monday night in the 1000 block of Slater Avenue north of Aurora in Buchanan County.

Iowa State Patrol troopers say Soules was driving a truck when he collided with a tractor, and both vehicles went into the ditch.

Deputies say Soules called 911 and then left.

He was later found nearly five hours later at his home in nearby Arlington, and he was charged with leaving the scene of a deadly crash.

Kenneth Mosher, 66, of Aurora was driving the tractor, and he later died.

Speculation surrounding this case has everybody buzzing, and several people are wondering why he hasn't been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, since alcohol containers were found at the scene, and he left.

However, legal experts say it's not that easy.

He called 911, cooperated with dispatch, and then left.

After learning he left the scene, many people have started to speculate why he went home, but Cedar Falls Lawyer, Kevin Engels says he could have been in shock, or maybe he didn't fully understand everything he was supposed to do.

"I think the unfortunate part of having celebrity, is that it carries you in the good times, and it certainly come to the fore in those bad times as well," Engels said.

Engels said regardless of Soules' Blood Alcohol Concentration or (BAC) hours after the crash, it doesn't mean he was impaired during the crash.

Engels says Soules could have gone home and started drinking to try and calm his nerves.

Engels says he sounded emotional and not under the influence during the 911 call.

"He did not sound to me like his speech was slurred. He did not sound like the information he was relaying reflected some radically impaired judgement," Engels said.

What was Chris Soules doing before Monday night's crash?

Where was he?

Was he under the influence?

Those are questions prosecutors and his defense team will investigate using evidence like his cellphone to track his location, and even bank information to see what he was buying.

But Engels says, even that evidence is circumstantial.

"Proving those suspicions is really difficult. Ordinarily, when we have OWI cases, they arise out of evidence that's obtained right there at the time the incident occurs. When you don't have the opportunity to go and assemble that information and gather that kind of evidence, it's very difficult to justify charging somebody," Engels said.

Soules did comply with portions of the law following a fatal crash.

He reported it, complied with dispatch, left his name and vehicle registration, but he left shortly after.

Whether he was panicked or impaired is a a question we're hoping to answer.

Even though alcohol containers were found at the scene, Engels said it would be difficult to prove whether Soules was drinking before the crash.

According to state law, if convicted for leaving the scene of a fatal crash, Soules could face up to five years in prison.

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