Chris Soules, the one-time star of ABC Television's The Bachelor, has filed for a change in venue in his trial related to a fatal car crash in April 2017.
Through a brief filed filed with the Buchanan County court this month, the attorneys for Soules, 36, argued that he could not receive a fair trial in Buchanan County, and requested the trial instead take place in Davenport or Council Bluffs. They cited the close-knit nature of the community, Soules' position within the community, and the extensive media coverage that the case has received in the area.
Soules is charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury accident resulting in death, after an vehicular accident near Aurora on April 24, 2017 with a tractor driven by Kenneth Mosher, 66, of rural Aurora. Mosher died in the accident. Soules contends that he remained at the scene of the accident after hitting the tractor and administered CPR to the victim. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Attorneys cited the deep roots of the Soules family in the area, claiming that it would be difficult to find a jury made of county residents unfamiliar with his or Mosher's family. In addition, his roles in The Bachelor and ABC's Dancing With the Stars were given as reasons causing heightened media interest in the case, which would prevent a fair trial.
Soules' lawyers also made reference in the filing to social media comments on profiles of local newspapers, using them as examples of prejudice by likely local community members.
In response to the filing, prosecutors said that volume of coverage is not sufficient cause for a change of venue. They said that the coverage by local media has not been inaccurate or inflammatory, which would not result in widespread prejudice that could not be weeded out in jury selection.
A pre-trial conference is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 16.