Brett Reed was sentenced to three years in prison Tuesday as part of the DWI felony plea deal, one year less than the prosecution recommended, despite an emotional argument from the mother of one of his young victims that he received a longer sentence.
Reed, the son of Kansas City coach Andy Reed and a former assistant coach with the captains, admitted drunkenness at the team’s facility on February 4, 2020, before trying to go home with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.113.
He traveled less than half a mile before crashing at 84 mph in two parked vehicles on the side of a highway on an incline. One of them was dealing with a problem with the car. The other came to help.
Six people were injured, including Reid. One of them, 5-year-old Ariel Young, has been in a coma for two weeks and to this day has physical disabilities and mobility problems and must attend special education at the school, according to her mother, Felicia Miller.
“Hell,” Miller described the past 21 months while addressing the court. She said it came about because Brett Reed chose to drink and drive.
With 6-year-old Ariel Young now in the courtroom, a Jackson County (Missouri) District Court judge heard Miller’s plea for a maximum seven-year prison sentence, but instead he went with three. Local lawyers said judges always follow the plea deal recommendations. In this case, the prosecution recommended four years.
That didn’t stop Miller, an angry and exhausted mother, from trying.
In her acute victim impact statement, Reed was described as a privileged, out of touch and unsympathetic. She repeatedly noted that he was a repeat offender with convictions on Fury Road, DUI and drug charges in multiple incidents in Pennsylvania where his father then coached the Philadelphia Eagles. It also mocked his requests for surveillance.
“It’s been nearly 21 months since Brett Reid hurt us,” Miller said. “Last month he apologized for the first time… to be clear, your apology was not accepted.
“He apologized to us at the same time as he apologized to ‘Chiefs Kingdom,'” Miller said, using the term for Chiefs fans. “This is not a game. This is not a heads game. This is our life.”
Miller first publicly described the horrors of seeing through her rearview mirror as a Red Dodge Ram truck drove toward her car, which was there to help a relative. She passed out on impact only to wake up in panic over the fate of two children in the now collapsing back seat.
“We woke up in a mess. Where are our kids?” Where was Juliana? Where was Ariel? Miller said. Juliana – a baby – came out. She had a broken nose. Ariel didn’t look like herself. She was stiff. She wasn’t responding. She wouldn’t wake up.
“And she didn’t wake up. For two weeks.”
Reed, 37, has been suspended by superiors from his job of coaching the team’s players from abroad and his contract has not been renewed. Days later, the team lost to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl. In the end, Ariel came out of the coma, but the extent of the long-term injuries came into focus.
“When I woke up, Ariel didn’t come home,” Miller said. She tried to learn to walk, talk and eat again before we left the hospital. But she couldn’t. She can no longer run around the yard like the cute innocent Ariel we knew.
“We walked out of the hospital to our little house not far from the highway where Brett Reed hurt us. Ariel put on the couch and the feeding tube in place. I would carry her in my car and take her for treatment. She couldn’t walk. She cried in the wheelchair. So I carried my 5-year-old Years like a newborn.
“When we went to therapy, she was vomiting in the car due to new motion sickness. She still has this motion sickness. Brett Reed did this. Wants to watch?”
“Today, Ariel pulls her right foot out when she walks,” Miller said. “Next month we’ll see a doctor about leg braces. She has terrible balance. She takes longer to process information than her peers. She has to be in a special edition. She wears thick glasses that she’s never worn before.”
“This is our life.”
The family reached an unspecified agreement with the chiefs last year that covers Ariel’s medical care and provides “long-term financial stability,” according to family attorney Tom Porto of Popham Law Firm.
At a plea agreement hearing last month, Brett Reed publicly pleaded guilty to drinking for the first time at the Chiefs’ facility. Both the team and the NFL themselves initially announced that they would investigate the incident but would not comment on what was found, if any. Questions remain such as whether Reed drank alone in the superiors facility or with others, drank in secret or in public, if anyone knew he was drunk when he left the facility or if anyone watching an employee is at risk.
Reed struggled with drug abuse and legal issues for most of his adult life. If it weren’t for favouritism, he would never have been hired for a coveted NFL assistant coach position with that background and fine resume. Andy Reed is one of the winning coaches in NFL history and in February of 2020, he led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years.
Miller said Brett Reid’s having so many advantages makes the situation worse.
“He had every chance in life,” Miller said. “Instead of doing something with the opportunities given to him, we hurt Brett Reid. Ariel’s life was changed forever because of Bret Reid. Her life will deal with the damage done by Brett Reid.”
“You’d never exercise,” Miller added. “sports, [which] His family to make a living from. You will no longer do that. take it from her. She will deal with the effects of his actions every day for the rest of her life.”
Eventually, her words echoed in the Kansas City courtroom, but that didn’t matter.
Brett Reid was sentenced to three years in prison, one less than the prosecution recommended.
The impact on Ariel Young and her family will last a lifetime.