Britt Reid, the son of K.C. Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and former assistant linebackers coach for the team, has been formally charged by Jackson County in connection with an accident the week before the Super Bowl.
As we know, Reid was driving his pickup truck the Thursday before the big game when he struck two vehicles injuring multiple people including two children. One five-year-old child, identified as Ariel, has been hospitalized since the incident before she finally awoke. She has since been described as suffering from traumatic brain injuries. These injuries will cause her damage for the remainder of her life.
According to reports, Reid has been charged with driving while intoxicated, which in Missouri, is a Class D felony. This carries a potential jail sentence of one to seven years if convicted. We know Reid was investigated following the accident and reported to officers that he had drinks before getting behind the wheel. The formal complaint alleges that Reid was traveling over 83 miles per hour and had a blood alcohol content of .113.
Following the announcement of charges, the Chiefs released the following statement:
What comes next for Reid will be telling. Given the admissions Reid made, he will have a difficult time defending his actions. The parties will participate in a “discovery” process wherein they will exchange documents in order to solidify their cases. The prosecution will seek to find all evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements alleged in their complaint. The defense will work to shed doubt on the prosecution’s case.
Most likely, however, we will see a plea deal. Most cases that are filed end in some sort of resolution—few actually proceed to trial. The state will likely offer a reduced sentence in exchange for Reid admitting he is guilty. Of course, given the “high profile” nature of this case and what appears to be admissions from Reid, there is always a chance this proceeds to trial.
The decision on whether or not to offer a deal is strictly within the prosecution’s discretion, and the decision to accept or reject a deal is solely Reid’s. If a plea deal is reached, Reid will admit to the judge what he did and the judge will sentence him accordingly. I would imagine jail time will likely be included in any sentence given his prior history. If this proceeds to trial, it is in the hands of a jury.
Ultimately, this is only one part of the case—the criminal side. Reid will most likely also face a civil suit. Ariel’s family will seek money to compensate for the injuries she sustained. That is a much slower process and could drag on for years as opposed to a criminal case which is constitutionally required to be “speedy.”
At the end of the day, it is encouraging to see some movement on the criminal side and it is also encouraging to see the care they took in charging this case properly. As time goes on, we may see more information, but until then, we await information on potential plea deals and continue to hope and pray that Ariel continues to recover.