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Chris Soules Social Media and Cell Phone Will Determine Fate In Fatal Crash

4/27/2017 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Soules' fate in the fatal car crash could be determined by his cell phone ... and the stakes are high -- a possible vehicular manslaughter prosecution.

Law enforcement sources involved in the investigation tell us they're especially interested to know if Soules was a distracted driver by using his cell phone at the time of the crash. We're told law enforcement seized his phone and they will be looking at texts, photos, social media posts and his call log.

We're told Soules loved taking photos of sunsets as he drove down Iowa roads and regularly posted them on Twitter. He has now deleted his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

If it's determined Soules was using his phone at the time of the crash, our sources say a vehicular manslaughter charge is definitely on the table.

As for the charge he now faces -- the felony of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death -- our Iowa law enforcement sources say they believe he'll be prosecuted but will not be convicted.

Our sources say the fact Soules is famous works against him, because prosecutors don't want to appear soft on celebrities. Based on what our law enforcement sources tell us, here's what Soules has working for and against him.

WHY HE SHOULD BE PROSECUTED

-- Soules left the scene of the accident before cops arrived. This deprived law enforcement of determining if he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Fact is ... since he was in a standoff at his house for hours before he was taken to a hospital where blood was drawn, there's almost no chance of determining if drugs or alcohol contributed to the crash.

-- Open containers of beer were found in Soules' truck.

-- He did not provide anyone at the scene with his driver's license, proof of insurance and other relevant information.

-- He caused the accident by rear-ending the tractor.

WHY HE SHOULD NOT BE PROSECUTED

-- The 911 audio works to Soules' benefit in a significant way. He identifies himself by name and tells the dispatcher he was involved in the accident. He also administered first aid by checking the victim's pulse. It appears he left just as paramedics were arriving, so there's nothing more he could have done to aid the victim.

-- Soules sounds coherent in the 911 audio. So, even if he had a drink or 2, at least from outward appearances, he didn't seem intoxicated.

-- There were skid marks showing Soules tried braking before the crash. Also, one law enforcement source tells TMZ, based on the skid marks, it does not appear he was driving at an excessive speed.

Our sources say although they believe prosecutors will charge Soules, if the case goes to trial, "it's a loser." As one source said, "Iowa juries that understand rural life are not going to convict a guy who tries helping the victim before leaving."

Our sources believe this case will end up in civil court and Soules will settle by paying a substantial amount of money to the victim's family.

Justin Bieber Sorry, Kendrick ... I Won't Sit Down to be 'HUMBLE.'

4/27/2017 12:50 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Justin Bieber's dance moves are about to go viral -- dude was GIGGIN' hard to Kendrick Lamar's new single at an NBA playoff game ... awkwardness be damned.

The Biebs had box seats for Game 5 of the Clippers/Jazz series in L.A. Tuesday night, and was inspired to get up and dance when he heard Kendrick's song, "HUMBLE."

Some ticket holders got an up close and personal show of JB doing his thing ... especially the guy next to him. Too close, maybe.

Kendrick was in the house, and had the honor of sitting courtside. Key word ... sitting. No one knows his music better than K-Dot.

Tamar Braxton 'The Real' May Have Fired Me But I'm Going to the Emmys

4/27/2017 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Hell yeah, Tamar Braxon's going onstage and celebrating if "The Real" ends up winning a Daytime Emmy Sunday night ... even though the show fired her last year.

Tamar -- on an upcoming appearance on "Home & Family" -- was undaunted by her pink slip, insisting she's not only going to the ceremony ... if the show wins, she'll go onstage to get what's hers. 

The singer was a co-host from 2013 to 2016 before she was given the boot.

In case you're wondering ... "The Real" has stiff competition for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Hosts ...  with "Live with Kelly" and "The View" among the nominees.

Tamar's appearance on "Home & Family airs Thursday at 10am/9c on the Hallmark Channel.

Kendrick Lamar Praised By LAPD Commish We Bonded At Clippers Game

4/27/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Something crazy went down at the Clippers game ... Kendrick Lamar forged a real, powerful friendship with the LAPD commissioner. 

K-Dot's lyrics haven't exactly been pro-cop over the years -- he rapped about hating the po-po on "Alright" and once performed the song on top of a burned up police car. 

Which is why it was shocking when he posed for a pic Tuesday night at the Clippers game with LAPD commish Steve Soboroff ... one of the top cops in L.A.

We spoke with Soboroff who says it wasn't a cheap PR stunt -- the guys are REALLY friends and have a mutual respect and understanding for each other. 

"Do I support anti-police sentiment and speech?" Soboroff said ... "No, of course not. He expresses through his art form his feelings, and I respect that. And I think he respects – or I hope he would respect – how seriously we take community policing and understanding people’s views."

Soboroff says the two are on such good terms, Kendrick helped him buy tickets to the rapper's upcoming concert at Staples Center for his son (Steve's more of a Sinatra guy). 

Bottom line ... "I consider him a friend, and I think he considers me a friend."

At least someone in L.A. won at the Clippers game. 

Gareon Conley Video Shows Rape Accuser with NFL Prospect at Bar

4/26/2017 6:03 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The woman accusing Gareon Conley of rape was friendly with the NFL prospect at a bar roughly 25 minutes before they ended up in a hotel room together ... and TMZ Sports has the video.

The footage show Conley leaving the Barley House in Cleveland around 2:20 AM on April 9th ... with the accuser and her female friends following closely behind. At one point the accuser reaches out and touches Gareon's back. 

A few minutes later, Conley has his arm around another woman in front of the bar and the accuser catches up from behind and grabs his arm. Gareon looks back and appears to hold her hand. 

The video is critical because it appears to contradict what the accuser told police -- that she first met Conley in an elevator at the Westin hotel around 2:45 AM. 

Both sides agree they ended up in a hotel room at the Westin together. She claims Conley raped her. Conley adamantly denies the allegation

We reached out to the accuser's attorney, who stands by his client's claims that she was sexually assaulted ... but says the police report that was released to the public is "incomplete."

Madonna's Obsessed Fan 9/11 Trial Start Doesn't Work! I'm a Retired Firefighter

4/26/2017 3:41 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Madonna's obsessed fan is ready to take New York City and its cops to court for an alleged beatdown, but he's not down to do so on 9/11 ... out of respect for his fellow firefighters.

Robert Linhart's suing the city, claiming NYPD officers roughed him up while arresting him in 2010 outside Madonna's home. On Tuesday, the court scheduled the trial to start on September 11.

Linhart and his attorney, Pete Gleason, are pissed because they're both retired members of FDNY. Gleason tells TMZ lower Manhattan courts should be closed on 9/11 in remembrance of officers who died responding to the World Trade Center.

They are petitioning the court to move the start date, ASAP.

As we reported ... Linhart was seeking a $5 mil settlement from NYC to make his lawsuit go away. City attorneys balked at that figure.

Aaron Hernandez 3rd Note Was for Attorney ... Not Gay Lover

4/26/2017 2:33 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The three notes recovered in Aaron Hernandez's prison cell were written to his fiancee, his daughter and his attorney, Jose Baez ... NOT a supposed gay lover, sources tell TMZ Sports. 

The contents of the letters are being kept under wraps for now -- but sources familiar with the investigation tell us the ex-NFL player did not leave any sort of a message for another inmate.

There are reports Hernandez had been corresponding with a "gay lover" during his time in lockup -- but Baez had previously shot that down as false ... saying, "These are malicious leaks used to tarnish somebody who is dead."

Kevin Gates Gets 30 Months for Gun Charge

4/26/2017 12:37 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

2:29 PM PT -- Kevin's attorney, Herschel Rush, tells TMZ the rapper's charges carried a maximum of 10 years in prison so "we are very pleased with the result of 30 months."

Rapper Kevin Gates finally knows his fate in his gun case -- he's going to prison for 30 months.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office in Illinois says Kevin appeared in court Wednesday and pled guilty to his original charge of felony gun possession. Remember, the outstanding weapons-related warrant popped up the same day he completed his sentence in Florida for kicking a woman in the face at one of his shows.

The warrant was issued because Kevin failed to appear in court for the 2013 gun case.

We're told Kevin, who has been in jail since March 30, will be transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Patti LaBelle Ultimate Photobomb From Anti-Fur Protesters

4/26/2017 11:15 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Patti LaBelle got a taste of what Kylie Jenner and Kelly Rowland experienced when anti-fur protesters pulled a photo op sneak attack on her.

Patti was signing copies of 'Desserts LaBelle' at a Barnes & Noble Tuesday in NYC. The protesters tucked in close with her, posing as fans who wanted a pic -- then suddenly whipped their signs and started chanting, "Patti LaBelle has blood on her hands!” 

It's similar to what happened to Kelly in in New Jersey earlier this month, and to Kylie last weekend in Las Vegas.

The protesters were eventually kicked out by B&N security.

Queen Noor of Jordan Impossible To Compare Me to Melania

4/26/2017 10:51 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Queen Noor of Jordan clearly does not want to be compared to First Lady Melania Trump.

The Queen arrived at the Refugees International 38th Anniversary Dinner at Mellon Auditorium. She's big on refugee and missing persons work, as well as nuclear disarmament these days.

Our photog asked if she saw any similarities between herself and the First Lady, other than marrying men who ran a country. The Queen made a graceful exit, saying it was an "impossible" question to answer.

As for comparisons ...

-- Both women immigrated ... Queen Noor was born in the U.S. before moving to Jordan. Melania was born in Slovenia before coming to America.

-- Neither was the first wife ... Her Majesty was the king's 4th wife, Melania is Donald Trump's 3rd wife.

-- They like design ... Princeton-educated Queen Noor received a B.A. in Architecture and Urban Planning and worked on international urban planning and design projects in Australia, Iran, the U.S. and Jordan. Melania was a model who wore designer fashions.

Still, apples to oranges.

Snoop Dogg Joins New Pro Basketball League ... As Celeb Commish

4/26/2017 9:24 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Snoop Dogg is getting in the hoops biz -- officially signing on as the Celebrity Commissioner of a new summer pro basketball league ... TMZ Sports has learned. 

Snoop will own an overall piece of the Champions Basketball League -- a 5-on-5 pro summer league featuring ex-NBA players who are 1 to 3 years removed from the league. 

We're told some of the players on the league roster include Al Harrington, Corey Maggette and Kareem Rush.

In his new role, we're told Snoop will focus on the entertainment aspect of the league -- bringing high level stars into the fold.

He's also one of the owners of the L.A. team ... so, he's all-in on this thing.

The league is set to kick off in a couple of months. Should be fun.

NFL Prospect Gareon Conley Boozing at Nightclub Before Alleged Rape

4/26/2017 8:01 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

TMZ Sports has obtained footage of NFL Draft prospect Gareon Conley partying at a Cleveland nightclub with a bottle of vodka roughly 2 hours before the alleged rape ... an allegation he denies.

The footage was shot at Barley House on April 9 around 1 AM and shows Conley dancing by himself while surrounded by a group of partiers.

We're told the accuser is NOT in the footage.

Conley is wearing sunglasses at the bar -- notable since his accuser claims he refused to take his sunglasses off during the alleged incident a short time later.

Conley's attorney claims he initially met the accuser while leaving the club and they both went back to his hotel room at a nearby Westin.

The accuser claims Conley asked her to join a 4-way sex session with another couple but she refused so he had 1-on-1 sex with her instead. She claims he refused to stop when she told him to.

Conley has adamantly denied the allegations. Witnesses inside the hotel room say Conley never got intimate with her and she made up the allegations out of spite for being kicked out of the room.

The case is still under investigation. No arrests have been made. No charges have been filed.

Chris Soules Made 911 Call After Crash Checked Victim's Pulse

4/26/2017 7:34 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Chris Soules called 911 at the scene of the crash before booking it ... this according to the 911 audio.

You hear a winded Soules -- who also seemed coherent -- telling the dispatcher there was an accident with a tractor and a vehicle and says the tractor driver was injured and unconscious after being thrown into a ditch.

Soules interacted with the victim, checking his pulse ... saying he felt it. Soules also said the victim was bleeding from his mouth.

The 911 audio goes on ... the dispatcher asks if anyone could administer CPR. Someone is performing CPR but it's unclear if it was Soules.

It's apparent from the 911 call there were others present when the call was made, and they were the ones who saw Soules leave the scene.