A Texas teen is walking away from a crime he committed simply because he’s never faced consequences in the past…and he has the money to do so.
In June, 16-year-old Ethan Couch was driving drunk and killed four people while going 70 mph in a 40 limit area. The teen was facing up to 20 years in prison when the court gave him 10 years of probation and treatment at a high-end rehab facility in California.
The reason he was let go? According to Gawker, his lawyers pushed the case towards him never receiving any consequences for his actions due to his wealthy upbringing, also known as “affluenza.”
A psychologist called by the defense, Dr. Gary Miller, said Couch got whatever he wanted. As an example, Miller said Couch’s parents gave no punishment after police ticketed the then-15-year-old when he was found in a parked pickup with a passed out, undressed 14-year-old girl.
Miller also pointed out that Couch was allowed to drive at 13. He said the teen was emotionally flat and needed years of therapy. At the time of the fatal wreck, Couch had a blood alcohol content of .24, said Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson. It is illegal for a minor to drive with any amount of alcohol in his or her system.
Couch attempted to buy alcohol from a local Walmart. After the idea went awry, the teen found another place for it and drove erratically down the road. After the accident that killed four people and injured others, Couch tried to leave the scene saying, “I’m outta here.” Police found his alcohol level to be .24 and he also had Valium in his system.
Friends, family, and even local attorneys were surprised by the verdict. Breanna Mitchell was killed on impact while she was getting help changing a tire from victims Holly and Shelby Boyle and Brian Jennings, a youth pastor. Her mother believes that the teen will not get away with murder.
Breanna’s mother, Marla Mitchell, said she was ‘mad’ about the sentence and embraced the families of the other victims outside of the courtroom. ‘He’ll be feeling the hand of God, definitely,’ she told WFAA.com. ‘He may think he got away with something, but he hasn’t gotten away with anything.’
Couch has “gotten away” with underage drinking in the past. In February, the teen was given a citation for underage drinking. Eric Boyle, whose wife and daughter were killed, believes that if it was anyone else, the outcome would have played out very differently.
“Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail. If (he) had been any other youth, I feel like the circumstances would have been different.”
Couch’s attorneys are also saying that even if he were found guilty, he would have only served 2 years out of the 20 year sentence because he is a minor.
SOURCE: Gawker | PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook, Daily Mail