Since his arrest for leaving the scene of a fatal accident, Chris Soules has been staying out of the spotlight — even filing a written arraignment pleading not guilty in order to avoid an open-court arraignment. However, on Wednesday, May 17, Soules suspended his low profile just long enough to snap a selfie with a fan.
Ashley Overton, the fan who works at an O'Reilly Auto Parts store in Iowa, shared the photo on her Instagram account, captioning it, "My sweet customer today. #chrissoules"
In subsequent comments, Overton engaged in conversation with several people who criticized the pair for the photo. She explained that after she and Soules had spoken, he mentioned she could take a picture with him if she wanted one.
She also clarified that if she had known Soules was "in hiding," she would never have posted his picture. She emphasized that the former Bachelor is "kindhearted and very sweet."
After her encounter with Soules, Overton posted an emotional video to her YouTube channel expressing her thoughts and prayers for Soules and all of the families of people involved in the fatal accident Soules was arrested for leaving the scene of.
"Don't you ever think that your world can't change in an instant," she said. "None of us are exempt — none of us. It may be the decisions we make, or it could be from someone else's decisions. We are not exempt. It can happen in an instant. Your whole world you knew, your whole life that you knew, in an instant can be over... can be changed forever."
She went on to address the "stone-throwing people" who are quick to condemn Soules.
"I don't have enough room in my pocket for rocks. So if you have never, ever, ever made a mistake, cast the first stone. But otherwise I suggest you put it down," she pleaded, adding, "Do we not all deserve grace?"
Overton's image and story quickly went viral, underscoring just how intense the attention on Soules' case has become. On May 19, Us Weekly reported that Soules is set to appear before a judge for a pretrial conference on July 11.
His trial will then begin on July 19 at 9 a.m. in Buchanan County, Missouri, during which Soules will face the charge of leaving the scene of the fatal accident that killed 66-year-old Kenneth Mosher.
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