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Jackson County prosecutor says she believes sentencing of Britt Reid was 'just'

Family of Ariel Young, those involved in the case not contacted by Parson
Britt Reid Sept 12 2022.jpg
Posted at 12:40 PM, Mar 02, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After Missouri Gov. Mike Parson commuted the sentence of Britt Reid, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker released a statement, saying she believed the court's sentence of three years in prison was "just."

Reid, 38, pleaded guilty on November 2022 to felony driving while intoxicated. Ariel Young, who was 5-years-old at the time of the crash, was seriously injured. Reid will now serve the remainder of his sentence until Oct. 31, 2025, on house arrest.

Peters Baker said nobody who handled or was directly impacted by the case — including Ariel's family — was contacted by Parson before he decided to commute Reid's sentence.

"The Court carefully considered the evidence and the harm to our 5-year-old victim, Ariel, and her family," Peters Baker said. "It also properly considered the unlawful behavior of the defendant, a repeat offender in other states who chose again to drive while intoxicated."

Peters Baker also said that she believed the sentence "was an example for others that even those with resources and privilege were not above the law."

"Mr. Reid has completed his alcohol abuse treatment program and has served more prison time than most individuals convicted of similar offenses," Parson said in a statement to KSHB 41. "Mr. Reid will be under house arrest until October 31, 2025, with strict conditions of probation, including weekly meetings with a parole officer, weekly behavioral counseling attendance, weekly meetings with a peer support sponsor, and stringent community service and employment requirements."

Reid was released into house arrest from the Maryville Treatment Center on Friday, per jail records.

Reid entered into the plea agreement during the fall of 2022, apologizing for his role in the crash.

On Feb. 4, 2021, Reid's pickup truck collided with two vehicles on the on ramp from Stadium Drive to Interstate 435.

The governor’s office also said the Reid family did not request the commutation and Parson did not discuss the commutation with them before Friday’s grant of clemency.

"There simply can be no response that explains away the failure to notify victims of the offender," she said. "To Ariel's family, I offered my resolve to continue to fight for just sentences for those who injure others due to the reckless decision to drink alcohol and operate a motor vehicle."

Peters Baker concluded her message with the following statement:

We are reminded that this governor did not use his political power to commute the sentence of Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson. He used his political power to free a man with status, privilege and connections. Both Kevin and Lamar are freed today under the rule of law, but only after difficult battles to gain their freedom.

Finally, to my community, I simply say I am saddened by the self-serving political actions of the Governor and the resulting harm that it brings to the system of justice. But my office will fight for just outcomes regardless of social status, privilege or one's connections. This system of justice still stands and will prevail over any fleeting political knock. Of this I am certain.