Ethan Couch, Texas Teen Who Killed 4 In Drunk Driving Accident, Gets 10 Years Probation, Claims 'Affluenza'
Texas teenager Ethan Couch was sentenced to 10 years of probation after drinking and driving, causing a car wreck that left four individuals dead.
Ethan Couch To Years 10 Years Probation
The prosecution fought for Couch to get the maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. During the sentencing trial the defense counter-argued that Cough is merely a victim of his wealth. Couch’s lawyers cutely titled his affliction “affluenza” – referring to the consequence-free upbringing he’s been subjected to by his wealthyparents.
Aiding the defense was expert witness G. Dick Miller, who specializes in psychology. Miller suggested that Couch’s parents bear more responsibility in the matter than the 16-year-old, alleging that the privileged childhood of their son resulted in his recklessness. He further argued that Couch receiving a couple years of treatment away from his parents could give him a chance to rehabilitate.
"There is nothing the judge could have done to lessen the suffering for any of those families," said defense attorney Scott Brown, CNN affiliate KTVT reported. "(The judge) fashioned a sentence that is going to keep Ethan under the thumb of the justice system for the next 10 years. And if Ethan doesn't do what he's supposed to do, if he has one misstep at all, then this judge, or an adult judge when he's transferred, can then incarcerate him."
Teen Drunk Driver Crash Kills 4, Claims 'Affluenza'
At least one relative has voiced opinions that fall in sharp contrast to Brown’s claim that a harsher sentence would be of no benefit to them. Eric Boyles, who lost both his wife and daughter in the fatal accident, feels that the lenient punishment makes it harder to move past his loss. In other words, in his eyes, justice has not been served.
"Let's face it. … There needs to be some justice here," Boyles said on Anderson Cooper 360. "For 25 weeks, I've been going through a healing process. And so when the verdict came out, I mean, my immediate reaction is — I'm back to week 1. We have accomplished nothing here. My healing process is out the window."
"There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day," Boyles added. "The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can't buy justice in this country."
On the night of June, 15 Couch, with the help of a few friends, stole beer from a Wal-Mart in town. Meanwhile, Hollie Boyles brought her daughter Shelbie Boyle to help her friend Breanne Mitchell, whose car had broken down. Youth pastor Brian Jennings had also arrived at the scene to help. Couch, with a couple of friends in the bed of his pickup truck, plowed into the group resulting in all of their deaths. His two friends were severely injured. After the crash, Couch's blood alcohol measured at .24.
– Chelsea Regan
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