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Prosecutors Trying For New Charges Against 'Affluenza' Teen

Texas prosecutors are again trying to put a drunk-driving teen behind bars after he received only 10 years probation for a June crash that killed four people and seriously injured two more.

According to NBC DFW, Ethan Couch, 16, was given 10 years probation and ordered to a ritzy rehabilitation clinic for alcoholism after pleading guilty to four counts of manslaughter. The Tarrant District Attorney had sought the maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

There are, however, still two intoxication assault charges pending against Couch. The DA is seeking the maximum sentence in those cases – three years in a juvenile detention facility – from which Couch could not be released before his 19th birthday. The Fort Wayne Star-Telegram reported Judge Jean Boyd, who handed down the original, watered-down punishment, may also give Couch no punishment on these charges. That seems likely, as the judge did not sentence jail time for the more serious charges. Judge Boyd has faced considerable blacklash following the ruling: there is a petition on Change.org for the judge's removal that has garnered more than 15,000 signatures.

Couch had a blood alcohol content three times the legal limit and had Valium in his bloodstream when he crashed his truck into several people who were helping a stalled car on the side of the road. His defense lawyers argued Couch could not be held responsible for the deaths because he suffered from a disorder where the rich and privileged are unable to comprehend the consequences of their actions, a disorder known as 'Affluenza,' which is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a legitimate disorder.

The families of those killed and hurt in the crash have filed five civil suits seeking damages against Couch, including the family of one of his passengers, who was paralyzed in the crash.


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  • 492 Comments
      • 1 Year Ago
      Let God handle this situation. My Father inspired my Friend to tell the world in Luke 6:24 '' Woe to you who are rich for you are receiving your comfort in full. If you do not FORGIVE HIM , my Father WILL NOT FORGIVE YOU. My Father says ''VENGEANCE is Mine''. ALL judges that you elect will be in HELL WITH YOU. RELIGION IS LIKE A ROACH.YOU CAN'T GET RID OF THEM. My Father did not LIE in Matthew 24:2, Acts 17:24, etc. when He WARNED YOU about RELIGIONS.They will sell you a LIE in verses that you REFUSE TO BELIEVE in the Holy Bible such as Luke 14:26 and you will believe EVERY LIE THAT RELIGION TELLS YOU because you were FORCED into RELIGIONS by the ones that Christ told you to HATE in Luke 14:26 and then YOU LIE and say you 'believe in Him'. RELIGIONS LOVE THE RICH but God has removed His LOVE, GRACE and MERCY from ALL LYING RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITES.
      helsper
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is one of the dumbest things I have heard yet. Given that thinking . . . did he run into them on purpose? Since he has no comprehension of the consequences of the actions he was "about" to commit? Therefore, it was premeditated murder. Given that, he should be locked up for life in a mental institution, with the rest of those who have no consciences, but they are called Sociopaths, since he is incapable of comprehending the consequences of his actions. We are now ALL at risk! Allowing him to remain on the streets living a normal life knowing he is devoid of this ability makes us all victims of his disability! My deepest sympathy to those who have lost their loved ones and who are now being victimized by this ruling, from a Judge who obviously has poor judgment.
      nqs12
      • 1 Year Ago
      What about the Judge who did this, Who paid him off? Why isn't the Judge being punished?
      spdy65
      • 1 Year Ago
      This has to be the most bazaar bunch of hooey I have ever heard of. I don't care how rich someone is, they are still subject to the law. Will defense attorney's ever run out of bull*rap strategies? Any judge that would pardon this punk needs to be dis-robed.
      doug
      • 1 Year Ago
      this kid should be tried as an adult on this and put away for life to teach his little butt right from wrong rather than being treated like a kid with juvie!! put the person who fed him the booze away for life as well!! three years in juvie is nothing for this crime and he won't learn a thing.
      ahhentllc
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lock him up and throw away the key!!!
      stvhndyman
      • 1 Year Ago
      I do not agree with his sentence of probation, BUT even if he was sentenced to 20 years he would get out when he turned 19. 10 years of probation- he will screw up again and hopefully it will be after he turns 19 and then can be tried as an adult and sentenced as an adult.
      pb185
      • 1 Year Ago
      I would really like to see this judge's rulings when the defendant wasn't a spoiled rich white kid. Did he let the poor white/black folks off for shoplifting because they were too poor to buy food for their families? Did he exhibit the same leniency to others who were not rich and connected (i assume).
      blinn8656
      • 1 Year Ago
      This kid suffers from stupidity as do his parents, They should all have adjoining cells in the worst prison in texas.
      Tom
      • 1 Year Ago
      Do I understand this correctly; the judge believes because this ked was not held accountable for his actions up to this time the way to correct the problem is to not hold him accountable this time? The judge needs to see his proctologist to have his head pulled out.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Here again this is a good example of the system being broken. This judge Boyd and everyone involved in this case need to do some soul searching. It seems these individuals has lost there true passion for why they are doing what they do. Money, Power, and Greed has taken over their lives and the rights of others no longer matter. For the last 10 years or so I have been asking this question; When are we going to stop trading lives for money? I asked this question in social courses with student and professors where most of the time there is no answer. However one young student who thought he knew everything gave a powerful answer to this. His reply was "when it stop being profitable", that answer hit home in this case. It seems that the deaths, wreckage, and the emotional strain this impaired person has caused on so many families could be pushed side with a large amount of money. To pay a person to come up with a word to justify this behavior is trading lives for money. To send this person to treatment because he is rich is trading lives for money. For judge Boyd to even concider treatment for a person with a BAC 3 times over the legal limit is trading lives for money. I live in an area where there was a sixteen year old who was not rich, just a everyday kid. He killed two of his friends while driving impaired by alcohol, this kid wasn't rich and he was sentence to jail. He didn't have enough money to pay a professional to come up with a new word such as "Affluenza" to get him off the system is broken. There are so many who want to argue the fact that this kid is suffering from some kind of mental illness. And there are many who buy this defence of "Afflunza", so if all these things are vailid. Why can't the inner-city youth who kill some one use thios as a defence, it is most likely this person is suffering from some kind of mental disorder. And for all of you who hole these ideas close, I wonder what your post will be is something like this inter your life and land on your front porch, and the rich kid goes on with his life because he is rich and you are left holding the emotional bag.
      • 1 Year Ago
      The reason he is unable to comprehend the consequences of his actions is that HE NEVER RECEIVES ANY CONSEQUENCES FOR HIS ACTIONS!!! Start giving him some consequences and he will start to understand what happens when he messes up. Stupid stupid judge!!!!!
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