'Affluenza' DUI Teen Dodges Jail Again

Ethan Couch gets rehab for badly injuring 2 teens
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2014 12:06 AM CST
Updated Feb 6, 2014 7:38 AM CST
'Affluenza' DUI Teen Dodges Jail Again
Tonya Couch, left, and Fred Couch, parents of teenager Ethan Couch, arrive at juvenile court in Fort Worth, Texas yesterday.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Too rich for jail? Prosecutors have failed in a second attempt to send a Texas teen who killed four people and severely injured two others in a drunk-driving accident to prison. Ethan Couch, who got 10 years probation for killing four pedestrians, was back before the same judge yesterday to face intoxication assault charges over the injuries to two of his teenage passengers, the Dallas Morning News reports. She ordered the 16-year-old to be sent to a rehab facility, rejecting prosecutors' calls for a 20-year sentence.

One of the injured teens was left paralyzed and can only communicate by blinking, while the other suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries, the AP notes. At his trial in December, the defense argued that Couch—whose blood alcohol levels were three times the adult legal limit at the time of the crash—suffered from "affluenza" caused by pampering from his wealthy parents that left him with a sense of irresponsibility. Prosecutors haven't identified the rehab facility he will be sent to, though his parents have offered to pay for treatment in a $450,000-a-year treatment center in California. (More affluenza stories.)

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