Family of young DUI victim 'outraged' over proposed plea deal for ex-Chiefs coach Britt Reid

·Columnist
·5 min read

Prosecutors in Missouri will seek no more than four years in prison for ex-Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid as part of a plea deal concerning a 2021 DUI crash. The incident injured Reid and five others, including then-5-year-old Ariel Young, who was left with significant brain injuries.

Young’s family ripped the plea deal, stating they hope Reid receives the maximum seven years in prison.

“The five victims of this crime are outraged,” attorney Tom Pardo said in a statement. “The prosecuting attorney is not seeking the maximum sentence allowable by law. The defendant is a prior offender whose actions caused a 5-year-old to be in a coma and seriously injured three others.”

Yet local attorneys say the deal isn't out of line with such cases and they expect the judge to take the prosecutor's suggested four year sentence and while sentencing isn't until Oct. 28, they expect the four years to hold.

"The people that write the law say seven years is the maximum, so this is about what you'd expect," said Chris Scott, a Kansas City defense attorney and former prosecutor. "The prosecution knows facts of the case that the public doesn't, so if prosecutors feel that four years is fair then I would say it is fair.

"The victims and their family will get to speak at sentencing but I'd be stunned if the court didn't follow the [recommendation]," Scott continued. "If the judge didn't follow those agreements then nothing would get done. I've never seen a Jackson County, Missouri judge go against it."

Reid, 37, is the son of Chief head coach Andy Reid. He admitted he was legally drunk on the night of Feb. 4, 2021 when he recklessly drove his Dodge Ram 84 miles per hour down an Interstate 435 on-ramp.

It was there he slammed into two cars parked in the breakdown lane. One car had engine trouble before calling a relative to come offer assistance. Young was among two children injured while sitting in the back seat of one of the hit vehicles.

Reid was working as Kansas City’s outside linebackers coach the night of the incident. The Chiefs were preparing for that weekend's Super Bowl against Tampa Bay. He was hospitalized after the incident and did not coach in the team’s loss to the Buccaneers. His contract was not renewed at season’s end.

The proximity of the incident to the Chiefs offices and training facilities suggest Reid may have been drinking on the job. The team and Young’s family reached an agreement last year to cover all medical costs “for the rest of her life.”

Ex-Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid is pursuing a plea deal in his DUI case that will keep prosecutors from seeking more than four years in prison. The family of the victim is not happy about it. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Ex-Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid is pursuing a plea deal in his DUI case that will keep prosecutors from seeking more than four years in prison. The family of the victim is not happy about it. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Young spent over a month in a coma and later was fed with tubes but has made slow progress since, including being able to attend some schooling. Her challenges continue, however, and the family has not been accepting of Reid’s willingness to plead guilty.

Last week, when Reid first released a statement that he would plead guilty and expressing how sorry he was about the incident, Young’s mother, Felicia Miller, took to social media to condemn him.

“Shove your ‘Sorry’ up your ASS,” she wrote on Facebook.

Miller and other family members wore T-shirts that read “Justice for Ariel” at Monday’s hearing on the plea deal. Reid could receive as little as parole. The judge could also ignore the recommendation of the prosecutor and sentence him to longer. The family’s opinion may impact that decision.

Part of the family's anger is that Reid has had a lifetime of substance abuse issues and prior run-ins with the law. In 2007, Britt Reid was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison for a road-rage incident in Pennsylvania, where his father formerly coached the Philadelphia Eagles (he was paroled into a treatment program).

Reid also pleaded guilty to DUI and drug charges in a separate incident that year after he drove his vehicle into a shopping cart in a parking lot.

“I regret what I did,” Reid said at the hearing on Monday. “I made a huge mistake. I apologize to the family. I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”

Reid’s employment with Kansas City was almost completely due to nepotism. He lacked the résumé, let alone the clear legal background, for a coveted NFL assistant job. Reid has not said where he was drinking prior to the crash, although he previously told police that he “left work” before the incident. The crash scene is about a half-mile from the Chiefs facility.

There are no bars, restaurants or residences between the building and the onramp, if Reid had taken a direct route there. As an assistant coach, Reid was also under the league’s then-strict COVID policies, which would have prohibited him from walking into any establishment.

The team initially said it was “gathering information” about the incident. NFL team facilities have significant surveillance — including inside the building, so at the time, the NFL could monitor and investigate COVID-distancing violations.

Yet the team has not released any findings publicly.

The Chiefs did not immediately respond to a request for a statement on Monday. Reid’s sentencing is set for Oct. 28.