Judge gives probation to teen who killed four in DWI crash citing 'affluenza'



**Judge gives probation to teen who killed four in DWI crash citing ‘affluenza’ **

FORT WORTH, Texas — A juvenile court judge sentenced 16-year-old Ethan Couch to 10 years’ probation Tuesday for the drunk driving crash that killed four people. Judge Jean Boyd could have sentenced Couch to 20 years behind bars.
Youth pastor Brian Jennings; mother and daughter Hollie and Shelby Boyles; and 24-year-old Breanna Mitchell died in the June 15 accident.

Boyd told the teen that he is responsible for what happened, but didn’t believe he would receive the necessary therapy in jail.
Loved ones of victims left through a back door. They spent the afternoon speaking directly to Couch about how the crash changed their lives. They wanted him to serve some jail time.
The widow of one of the victims looked at the defendant and said, “Ethan, we forgive you.”

Couch swallowed hard and appeared to tear up a little bit in the courtroom upon hearing those words.
Prior to sentencing, a psychologist called by the defense, Dr. G. Dick Miller, testified that Couch’s life could be salvaged with one to two years’ treatment and no contact with his parents.

First, let’s shoot the psychologist and the judge.
Second, if the guy supposedly needs to be cured of “affluenza” he should be dropped off in one of our finer ghettos for some immersion therapy.


I think perhaps the rush to judgement in a case where the only information is in the media may be a little imprudent and uncharitable.

Wishing for the injury and possible death (however much it may be hyperbole) for the judge and the psychologist is nothing short of sinful (and disgusting).


Agreed. I can think of several neighbourhoods in my home town which would be quite, uh, therapeutic.

This is stupid. :doh2:


Oh, poor little rich kid. I’m sure life is so tough and he couldn’t handle jail :wink: Seriously, put him in prison. He shouldn’t have been drinking and hopefully this will make him think about his actions.


The judge’s seat is up for election next year. I wonder if she is planning to run again?


It’s tragic. The same wealth that spoiled the teen in the first place will also pay for his therapy, but what psychologist is going to tell Mr. Moneybag that he and his wife caused their son’s irresponsible behavior? No, he will get the traditional expensive medical treatment, trading alcohol for prescription drugs.

Say no to your children while they are young so they learn that happiness is not predicated on having what they want, when they want it, and they will be able to say no to themselves when it comes to alcohol and drugs.

This crosses all social strata. I’ve seen the inner city grandma who, forgetting her own role in her daughter’s addiction, takes in her grandson, and “feels sorry for him”. She spoils him with what little she has, and he grows up to be an addict and/or a thug. We then find her wailing in the media that “he was a good boy” as he is hauled off for a 20 year murder sentence, or rolled down the church aisle in a casket.


There is more to this that has not been reported. The judge knew that this would not be a popular sentence, but a just sentence. Just like news reports on Pope Francis, many facts are distorted. My prayers are for this young man, for those who lost their lives and for their families.


In all fairness, the public DOES need to know what distinguishes this child from the endless nameless faceless kids who get sent to juvie for way, way less. So no, it is not enough to say there is more to the story, unless we get to hear what that is.


Bat puckey.
I don’t know about you but I bet most folks see poor and/or minority criminals let off with a light sentence they don’t say “there’s more to the story” they are outraged. Likewise, if a kid with every disadvantage is locked up for 20 yrs the usual reaction is “don’t do the crime if you don’t want to do the time.”


I agree.

To plead extenuating circumstances in this case, and not in the others you allude to, is absurd. We need more details, otherwise this looks uncomfortably like the power of the almighty $$$ (or Rs. where I come from…) :frowning:


Ten years probation is not a walk in the park.


Four lives lost is not a walk in the park either. :frowning:

As Pope Benedict put it, charity without truth is blind.


Go to the KHOU link and read the entire story. He was not given a walk in the park. He cannot see his parents, he has to go to a in house facility for two years at a cost of $450,000 a year that his father must pay for, AND ten years probation.


Great. The next time I kill four people through rash and reckless misconduct, I’ll also ask for the time-out room, and ask my dad to pay for the fine.

Seriously. I’m all for judicious use of capital punishment, and rehabilitation of criminals, but this is beyond ridiculous. Would he have received this sentence if his problems were those of poverty, and not of “affluenza”?


Four people died because of his actions. I don’t know if 20 years in prison is just, but I don’t believe that 10 years probation is either. I can’t remember this ever happening to a poor kid whose parents neglected him.




Quite possibly.

A lot depends on the judge or jury you get, and how sympathetic they are the defendant. It’s really hard to generalize, but via the adversarial process that we use, jury selection largely results in juries being at least somewhat fair/impartial. Of course, there are always exceptions, it’s not a flawless system.


Cry me a river! I’d like to be ‘imprisoned’ in a luxury spa right now and have somebody pay a king’s ransom for the pleasure.

The kid is reported to have said, at the scene of the carnage, that his parents can get him out of anything…and they did.


It isn’t at all uncommon for very lax sentences for vehicular homicide. I’ve seen several cases were adults - sometimes even when it is their second fatal accident - have received a couple of months in prison followed by probation. It’s terrible that you can take someone’s life and receive less time than you would for a nonviolent offense.


I’ve known of a similar case. The guy was able to get off thanks to the fact that corruption is endemic here. He’s now a professor in a fairly well-known university, but thank God it’s not in my own country. :frowning:


What I don’t understand is why the parents aren’t being charged with negligence or child abuse. If Junior is not responsible for his crimes because of his terrible upbringing, why aren’t the parents being held accountable for causing the deaths of so many people? Or at least held responsible for the damage they inflicted on their son, which the judged has ruled had been done.

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