The mother of a then 5-year old girl who was critically injured in a 2021 DUI accident caused by former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid blasted a plea deal that likely caps his prison sentence at just four years.
Felicia Miller, speaking publicly for the first time on Good Morning America, said Reid, the son of Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, received preferential treatment from prosecutors that wouldn’t be afforded to the less wealthy or famous.
“They just gave him a slap on the wrist,” Miller said. “If anybody else had done that, we did that, anybody of us hit his car or injured one of his kids, we’d have been in jail.”
Reid, 37, admitted at a plea hearing Monday that 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 on ramp.
It was there he slammed into two cars parked in the breakdown lane. One car had engine trouble; the occupants of the other were relatives who had come to offer assistance. Ariel Young was among two children injured while sitting in the back seat of one of the vehicles hit. Now 7 years old, Young spent nearly two weeks in a coma and 19 months later continues a slow recovery where she had to relearn almost everything.
Four others were also hurt, including Reid, who was hospitalized that night.
Reid was working as Kansas City’s outside linebacker coach the night of the accident. The team was preparing for the upcoming Super Bowl against Tampa Bay that it lost three days later. The team did not renew Reid's contract after the season.
As part of the agreement to plead guilty and avoid a trial, prosecutors said they would seek a sentence of no more than four years in prison, a legal deal called a “lid.”
Under Missouri law, Reid, a repeat offender, faces as much as seven years in prison, although local attorneys say Judge Charles H. McKenzie is expected to follow the prosecutor’s recommendation at the official sentencing on Oct. 28.
"The victims and their family will get to speak at sentencing but I'd be stunned if the court didn't follow the lid," said Chris Scott, a Kansas City defense attorney and former prosecutor who has worked on both sides of hundreds of DUI cases. "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."
While plea deals are a common and effective way to find justice and keep the judicial system moving, it is not uncommon for victims to wonder why their case isn’t worth taking to trial.
“I think the family is upset because they perceive a different system of justice for those who have privilege and those who don’t,” said attorney Tom Porto, who represents Miller.
Reid has had a lifetime of substance abuse issues and prior run-ins with the law.
In 2007, he was sentenced to up to 23 months in prison for a road-rage incident in Pennsylvania, where his father formerly coached the Philadelphia Eagles. (Britt Reid 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.”
Precise details of Young’s initial injuries and her recovery are scarce due to what ABC News described as a “legal agreement” before noting the Chiefs have assumed all of Young's medical costs. Due to the proximity of the accident to the team’s offices and stadium, questions remain about whether Reid was drinking while at work that day before getting in the car.
Miller just remembers seeing Reid barreling toward them down the onramp where they were parked.
“I remember just looking in the mirror seeing him come in, full speed coming in,” Miller said. “[I said] 'Oh my god, he’s about to hit us.’ And then, ‘boom.’ It happened so fast.”
As Miller coped with the shock, her thoughts immediately turned to Young, who was in the back seat that had been crumpled down at impact.
“I don't hear my baby at all,” Miller said. “I am just freaking out, freaking out. Finally we [found] her under the seat. When I got her out of the car she was stiff, like stiff like a board.”
Young has returned to school but the challenges and the road to full recovery are long, the family said. In the meantime, they plan to continue to push for Reid to receive the maximum prison time regardless of the plea deal.