Britt Reid, the former assistant coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, pleaded guilty Monday to felony drunk driving and causing a crash in 2021 that seriously injured a 5-year-old girl in another vehicle.
During the 30-minute hearing, Reid admitted that on February 4, 2021, he was intoxicated when his pickup truck slammed into two vehicles on the side of an on-ramp along Interstate 435. , near the team’s training center. The wreckage injured two children, including Ariel Young, who suffered head trauma.
“I regret what I did. I made a huge mistake,” said Reid, 37. “I apologize to the family. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone that night.
Prosecutors reached a plea deal with Reid and his attorney, JR Hobbs. In doing so, prosecutors agreed they would ask Circuit Court Judge Charles H. McKenzie to sentence Reid to a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
“This plea offer is in the best interests of justice,” Jackson County Assistant District Attorney Brady Twenter told McKenzie.
By pleading guilty, Reid, who is the son of head coach Andy Reid, could have faced up to seven years in prison.
McKenzie said he could order Reid to serve the full four years in prison, as recommended by the district attorney’s office. But Missouri law also allows him to sentence Reid to serve just 120 days in prison and place him on five years’ probation.
Felicia Miller, Ariel’s mother, told McKenzie that she and her family oppose the plea deal that prosecutors reached with Reid and his attorneys.
“My family and I are opposed to the plea deal. I don’t think he should receive it,” Miller said.
Miller was joined in the courtroom with six parents and supporters who wore white T-shirts with the words “Justice for Ariel” on the front.
Tom Porto, the crash victims’ attorney, also commented on the plea deal:
The “victims of this crime are outraged that the prosecutor is not asking for the maximum sentence allowed by law,” he said. “The defendant is a former offender whose actions sent a five-year-old girl into a coma and seriously injured three others.”
Monday’s hearing was triggered nearly a week ago when Hobbs alerted the court that Reid planned to plead guilty to a felony charge of drunk driving and bodily harm.
Hobbs released the following statement Monday morning:
“Mr. Reid continues to feel remorse for his conduct and hopes his advocacy will bring some sense of justice to all those he has touched.
A trial was scheduled to begin Sept. 26 at Jackson County Circuit Court in downtown Kansas City, but it will not take place.
McKenzie has set the sentencing hearing for 1:30 p.m. on October 28.
Reid stood in front of McKenzie wearing a light blue suit, his hands buried in his front pockets and showing no emotion as he answered his lawyer’s questions about what happened that night.
Reid said he left the stadium to return home around 9 p.m.
He was traveling at 83 mph two seconds before the collision. Prosecutors said Reid had a blood alcohol level of .113 about two hours after the crash. The legal limit is 0.08, according to Missouri law.
Reid said his pickup truck hit a Chevrolet Impala, which he said he didn’t see because its lights were off. Reid said he continued south on the freeway and then finished a Chevy Traverse at 67.7 mph. He dialed 911 moments later.
Ariel’s mother had arrived to help her cousin, whose Impala had run out of gas and stalled. Miller said she got back into the driver’s seat of her Traverse and looked in the rearview mirror when she saw the headlights of an approaching vehicle.
Reid told the responding officer that he was “looking over his left shoulder to assess the traffic so it could merge,” according to prosecutors.
The impact of the crash from behind momentarily knocked Miller out after the airbag hit her and shattered her seat. When she woke up, Miller called her kids. She managed to find Ariel in the Traverse under the third seat that had folded down.
Ariel didn’t answer. Paramedics arrived and transported the girl to Children’s Mercy Hospital, police said.
After the crash, a Kansas City police officer noticed Reid’s eyes were “bloodshot and red,” prosecutors said. Reid told the officer at the scene that he had been drinking and had “two to three drinks”.
Reid suffered a groin injury and underwent emergency surgery after being taken to a nearby hospital.
Ariel suffered a traumatic brain injury which included swelling and bleeding. She also suffered a parietal fracture, brain contusions and subdural hematomas.
The accident left Ariel hospitalized in critical condition for an extended period. She was in a coma for 11 days and was discharged from hospital on April 2, 2021.
In November, the Kansas City Chiefs and Ariel’s family entered into a confidential financial agreement to cover her ongoing medical treatment and “long-term financial stability.”
This story was originally published September 12, 2022 11:19 a.m.
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