Texas: Rich Teen Drunk Driver Kills 4 Gets Only Probation



Texas teenager Ethan Couch is one 16 year old whose life was forever changed last summer. Couch is the young drunk driver who killed four people and just recently re-entered the spotlight as he received only probation as a punishment for his deeds. In a quick recap of the incident which has rocked the lives of all those involved, one quickly becomes aware of the huge effect the incident has had on all parties involved.

The re-emergence of the case into the spotlight can be credited to the recent juvenile court judgement against Couch, which has landed the teenager 10 years of probation, some rehab, but ultimately no jail time. Not surprisingly the verdict has drawn outrage and criticism from victims families along with segments of the public who feel that the Texas teen’s punishment does not equate to justice being served. The young defendant has been serving the last year or so in a rehab facility in Newport Beach awaiting the judgment which was entered in Tuesday.

Perhaps the most controversial piece of information surrounding the recent events is the defense which was employed by attorney’s for the Texan kid on trial. Lawyer’s chose to cast some, if not a significant portion, of the blame on the teen’s parents. Couch was characterized by his attorney’s as a kid who suffered from “affluenza,” a condition brought about by the nature of an affluent family environment where everything a child could want is given to him/her without any boundaries governing his/her life. This defense brought nearly as much attention and scrutiny as the actions being defended.

Victims families along with the public demonstrated their disgust for the ruling in speaking critically of the decision. The judgement was characterized by many as another case were money appears to have tilted the scales of justice heavily its favor. There are a few characteristics built into the judgment that look to be an attempt to level up the scales however. The 10 year probation which was laid upon the Texas teenager, has attached to it the possibility of sending the young man to prison for nearly a decade should he violate the parameters of his probation. While this seems to be a feature of the decision that resembles more of the justice the victims families were seeking it has done little to calm the emotions of those who lost lives and family members in the incident.

Ethan Couch’s father has agreed to send the teenage drunk driver, guilty of killing four people last summer, into a rehab facility to satisfy part of the probation conditions place on Couch. The facility which Couch will attend as part of a rehabilitation process will cost nearly $500,000 per year, another detail leading people to conclude that money can buy justice or at least significantly influence it. Although it may appear that the judge deciding Couch’s case did, with the long probation and rehab, make an attempt to administer justice, victims families along with many in the public do not see it that way.

As the case stands, those who lost family and friends as a result of the Texas teen who, while driving drunk killed 4 people, are less than thrilled at Tuesday’s ruling of probation without jail time.

By Daniel Worku

Huffington Post


Dallas News


9 Responses to "Texas: Rich Teen Drunk Driver Kills 4 Gets Only Probation"

  1. Jaylanna   January 24, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    How horrible! He should be in prison! I can’t even begin to express how bad i feel for the victims families 🙁 I’m soo soo sorry this happened to your loved ones.
    My heart, prayers and love are with you…

    Love the Martin family of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  2. Maggie   December 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Omg I can’t believe this.. Now the saying of a lot of white people get away with everything is true, its not fair that people that don’t have money can’t get away with anything even if they are innocent, but this rich as.white boy gets away with killing 4 innocent , that’s a shame on the system..

  3. Anthony   December 13, 2013 at 9:03 am

    If extravagant wealth can get one off the hook, one would think unsupervised poverty would do the trick as well. That does not seem to be the case.

  4. matt   December 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    This ruling is so unbelievable, I am still having a hard time believing it is true. My hope is that at the end of the Civil Trial, the family of the 16 yr old driver won’t be able to claim that they are “affluent” anymore.

  5. Daniel Worku   December 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    You’re comments are very much appreciated. Today, newsworthy events like this are happening so often that it is difficult to keep getting them out to the public. Cases like this set an important precedent and thus should come to the attention of the public. Thank you for your responses, and when you come across important news, be it authored by myself, another Guardian Express writer, or even another publication, please remember that your efforts to share and promote important news to your social circles is an ESSENTIAL component to educating the public. We, as journalists, simply cannot individually get the news and simultaneously promote it as much as it deserves.

    Thanks again for your comments, please browse other articles by myself and other Guardian writers, and share the most important issues you can with your social circles. Your help in disseminating news is PRICELESS!



  6. nubwaxer   December 12, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    i get a feeling that this outrage will not stand but then again i believe legal weed and universal healthcare are inevitable.

  7. David   December 12, 2013 at 10:45 am

    in 2006 I was convicted of a felony DUI…a 12 year old girl ran out in the middle of the street, and although I was doing 5 miles BELOW the speed limit, I was unable to stop and hit her…she fractured her pelvis, but was back at PE in school in 7 weeks…I pled guilty and haven’t touched liquor since…served 8 days in jail…but the worst part was being saddled a felon (which has kept me from being able to find work…long story)…the one act basically ruined my life…the victim got a nice settlement from insurance, but had I pled not guilty, there was a good chance that it could have gotten taken down to a misdemeanor…c’est la vie…but killing 4 people is an entirely different thing…”affluenza”??…obviously the judge in this case doesn’t deserve his position…in most states getting behind the wheel of a car intoxicated establishes intent to harm if anyone is unlucky enough to be struck by the driver…and in severe cases such as this the young man should have been tried as an adult an administered a lengthy jail term well into his 30s…justice for all?? Hardly…I feel for the families…at least in my case the victim not only lived, but got a nice sum of $$$ as well (it was her 2nd time being hit by a car)…this country has developed a bad case of the “let them eat cake” mentality suffered by the French aristocracy right before their bloody revolution….be careful USA

  8. Ray Tired   December 12, 2013 at 8:48 am

    This is ridiculous. This is like telling a kid to go stand in a corner and do not do this again. Do you know there are children in juvenile detention who stole from a store to eat because they were hungry, and some idiot decided this kid needed probation after the senseless murder of family. All I want to know is what order is his family apart of, how much money did his family have, how many people does he have to kill for one to see he is a murderer!!!! This is horrible!!!!!!!!


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