In a courtroom in downtown Kansas City on Tuesday, Felicia Miller spoke about the “hell” she and her family—most notably her 6-year-old daughter Ariel Young—have endured since former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid crashed into their parked car 21 months earlier while driving under the influence.
She wished to describe the horrors of her daughter’s two weeks spent in a coma, the long, uncertain rehab, and the residual repercussions that have left her with everything from physical handicap to being enrolled in special education.
She also intended to beg Circuit Judge Charles H. McKenzie to give Reid a longer jail term than the four-year recommendation made by the prosecution as part of a plea bargain for drunk driving. Miller demanded the maximum seven-year period and called the settlement an “outrage.” Even her daughter came along, sporting an “Ariel Strong” hoodie.
Miller argued, “He deserves to serve the maximum sentence in prison.” Reid, the son of renowned Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, was given three years in jail, one fewer than the prosecution had requested, after McKenzie at least partially listened to the defence team’s claims.
Reid could serve less than a year in prison before being eligible for parole, according to at least one local defence lawyer, because the offence for which he was found guilty does not fall under Missouri law’s definition of a “dangerous felony,” for which a person must serve 85 per cent of their sentence.
Chris Scott, a former local prosecutor and current defence lawyer not involved in this case, said that only the Missouri Department of Corrections could decide how much of the three-year sentence he would serve. However, he added, “I wouldn’t be surprised if he is out in less than a year.”
The victims, a working-class family from Kansas City, think Reid had preferential treatment throughout the judicial procedure because of his and his family’s celebrity and money in football. This brings the legal processes to a bitter close.
According to Tom Porto, an attorney for the victims, “the victims of this crime are upset that the offender was not punished to the maximum punishment authorised by law.” Reid admitted to drinking alcohol on February 4, 2021, at the team’s facility before attempting to drive home with a.113 blood alcohol content.
He travelled less than half a mile before smashing into two cars parked alongside an expressway on-ramp at a speed of 84 mph. One was coping with auto issues. The other person arrived to help. Reid was one of the six victims of injuries. The most severe case included Ariel, who was five then and would likely suffer effects for the rest of her life.
In a victim impact statement, Miller blasted Reid as affluent, out of touch, and uncaring. She frequently emphasised that he was a repeat offender with convictions for many events in Pennsylvania. His father was then the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, involving road rage, DUI, and drug charges. She also made fun of his probation requests.
Britt Reid injured us almost two years ago, according to Miller. “He offered his first apology last month… To be clear, we do not accept your apologies. Miller, referring to Chiefs supporters as “Chiefs Kingdom,” said, “He apologised to us at the same moment he apologised to ‘Chiefs Kingdom. It’s not a game, this. It’s not the Chiefs’ game. This is. We live here.”
Reid’s Dodge Ram truck rushed at Miller’s car as it was there to help a relative, and Miller described for the first time in public the horrors she saw through her rearview mirror. She was struck, knocked out cold, and when she came to, she was terrified for the fate of the two kids in the now-collapsed backseat.
“We awoke to an uproar. Where had our infants gone? Julianna was missing. Where had Ariel gone?” In Miller’s memory. “A little girl named Juliana was unconscious. Her nose was broken. It wasn’t clear who Ariel was. She was rigid. She was not answering. She refused to get up.
“She also didn’t get up. both weeks.” The Chiefs suspended Reid, 37, from coaching the team’s outside linebackers, and they did not extend his contract. Days later, Tampa Bay defeated the team in the Super Bowl. Ariel eventually awoke from her coma, but the severity of her wounds became apparent.
Ariel “didn’t go home when she woke up,” Miller claimed. “Before we left the hospital, she tried to relearn how to walk, talk, and eat. But she was unable. She could no longer run around the yard like the innocent, cute Ariel we had known.
“After receiving a medical discharge, we returned to our modest house not far from the roadway where Britt Reid had injured us. A feeding tube was in place as Ariel dozed off on a couch. She would be piled into my car, and I would drive her to therapy. She was immobile. In the wheelchair, she sobbed. I, therefore, carried my five-year-old like a newborn.
“Due to her increased motion sickness, she would throw up in the car while driving to therapy. She continues to feel queasy. Britt Reid initiated her. He desires probation. Today, Ariel walks with her right foot dragging, Miller remarked. “We’re scheduled to see a doctor regarding leg braces the following month. Her equilibrium is poor. Compared to her contemporaries, she takes longer to comprehend information. She will require special education. She has never worn heavy glasses before, but she does now.
This is how we live. According to family lawyer Tom Porto of the Popham Law Firm, the family reached an undisclosed agreement with the Chiefs last year that pays for Ariel’s medical treatment and offers “long-term financial stability.”
Britt Reid officially admitted drinking at the Chiefs’ facilities for the first time during the plea deal hearing last month. The NFL and the team both initially stated they would look into the incident, but neither will comment on what, if anything, was discovered. There are still unanswered questions, such as whether Reid drank in private or in public, alone or with others, whether anyone saw that he was intoxicated when he left the facility, and whether anyone kept a watch on an employee who might be in danger.
Reid has struggled with substance misuse and legal difficulties for much of his adult life. With that experience and his flimsy resume, he would never have been hired for a sought-after NFL assistant coaching post if it weren’t for nepotism. Andy Reid, one of the most successful coaches in NFL history, guided the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory in 50 years in February 2020.
Britt Reid’s wealth, according to Miller, makes the problem worse. Miller remarked, “He had every chance in life. “Britt Reid injured us instead of making use of the possibilities that were given to him. Britt Reid has permanently altered Ariel’s life. Britt Reid’s harm will be dealt with in her life.
She will never participate in sports, Miller said. “Sports, which his family has relied on for a living. She wouldn’t ever do it. She lost that to him. For the rest of her life, she will have to live with the consequences of his acts. In the end, her remarks resounded in that courtroom in Kansas City, but they seemed ineffective. Britt Reid received a three-year sentence. Ariel Young and her family will be affected for the rest of their lives.