Teen Kills 4 in DUI, Escapes Jail Sentence
Because, as his lawyers argued, he's too spoiled to blame
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2013 12:48 PM CST
Ethan Couch   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Ethan Couch got drunk last June, drove with a blood alcohol level three times the legal adult limit, and killed four pedestrians. But instead of the 20 years the 16-year-old Texas teen could have served in prison, he got 10 years of probation, CBS Local reports. Why? Apparently Couch's attorneys' controversial argument worked: They said Couch's wealthy parents were actually to blame, because Couch was used to getting whatever he wanted. He also started driving at 13 and was allowed to drink. (Although the alcohol from the night in question may have been stolen by Couch and his friends ... from a Walmart.)

The defense team argued that Couch needs treatment, and the judge told Couch she doesn't think he could get the therapy he needs in jail, WFAA reports. His attorneys' suggestion: a California facility that costs $450,000 a year, with Couch's dad footing the bill. A psychologist who testified said Couch should also have no contact with his parents during his one or two years in treatment; he actually used the term "affluenza" to describe what the teen apparently suffers from. The only time Couch, who was driving around 70mph in a 40mph zone when the crash occurred, will spend in a detention center is the time it takes for him to be placed in a treatment facility.

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Showing 3 of 235 comments
w1z11
Dec 15, 2013 6:28 AM CST
I almost don't want to even say this, but...if they really think it is the parents' fault, maybe it's the parents who need to be held accountable?! If parents of kids with "affluenza" were held accountable for their lack of proper and respectful rearing and upbringing, then maybe other parents in similar situations (trust me, there are a lot of "affluenza" kids out there) would take the steps needed to ensure their children will never be without the proper thinking mechanisms needed to prevent such things from happening in the first place, y'know? I'm just sayin'...
xiromisho
Dec 15, 2013 3:48 AM CST
the DA should move to take this to a higher court to discredit the Psychologist and the Pathetic "Disease" called "Affluenancy". - So... he's going to get off, because he's a spoiled brat....? No. He Got off because he could afford a lawyer who could swing that.... Lets get this case up further, because this jackass killed 4 people. Again: Why isn't the DA bringing this case to a higher court for a re-trail?
RealGetter
Dec 14, 2013 8:29 AM CST
Didn't see the actual charges, but I'm assuming 4 counts of involuntary manslaughter on top of the DUI charges. Here's the facts, he's 16 not a child he is aware of his actions. He KILLED 4 people. This should have not happened. Someone got paid off and there should be a full ethical investigation on the judge and the prosecuting attorney. This "kid" should be serving life right now.