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ffluent drunk driving teen who killed 4 sentenced to probation on 'affluenza' defense
RT.com ^ | 12/12/13

Posted on 12/12/2013 4:22:04 AM PST by Wolfie

Affluent drunk driving teen who killed 4 sentenced to probation on 'affluenza' defense

A Texas teen was sentenced to just 10 years of probation and forced to enter alcohol rehabilitation for killing four people and injuring two others when he crashed his car into them while inebriated.

Ethan Couch, 16, had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.24 when he crashed into four people who had pulled over to assist a stranded driver on June 15. Couch’s BAC was three times the legal limit for an adult over the age of 21. Prosecutors said Couch and his friends had stolen beer from a Walmart located near the site of the accident outside the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

All four of the pedestrians were killed: the driver of the stranded vehicle, a mother and daughter who stopped to help, and a youth minister who did the same. Couch’s two 15-year-old friends were ejected from his vehicle in the crash. Solimon Mohman suffered a number of broken bones and internal injuries, while Sergio Molina can now only communicate with his eyes because he was paralyzed in the accident.

Couch admitted to drunk driving at the time, with seven passengers in his vehicle, and tests later revealed traces of Valium in his system.

Prosecutors asked State District Judge Jean Boyd to impose a 20-year sentence. Yet, despite the severity of Couch’s crime, Boyd handed down a sentence of just 10 years probation and mandated that the 16-year-old receive therapy at a long-term, inpatient facility near Newport Beach, California.

Defense attorneys pressed for such a sentence and told the court that Couch’s family would be willing to pay the estimated $450,000 for his therapy out-of-pocket. They blamed Couch’s actions on his upbringing, with a psychologist testifying that Couch’s parents used him as a weapon against each other and that the teen’s emotional age was close to 12.

“The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone,” psychologist Gary Miller said. “If you hurt someone you sent him money.”

Miller said Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have," raised in an environment of privilege that afforded him no understanding of actions and their consequences. The psychologist ultimately branded Couch a product of “affluenza.”

The perception that money has contributed to the case’s resolution has much of the surrounding community outraged. Families of the victims spoke in court and, while many admitted they have forgiven Couch, they said that justice had not been served. Prosecutor Richard Alpert said he was disappointed in Boyd’s decision and that “there can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment here.”

Eric Boyles lost his wife in the crash earlier this year. He told the Star-Telegram that even though the families knew a harsh sentence wouldn’t bring back their loved ones, the disappointment was palpable.


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: dui
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1 posted on 12/12/2013 4:22:04 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie

I’m going to predict two things right now. 1) He isn’t going to stop drinking, and 2) These four are not the only people he will wind up killing.


2 posted on 12/12/2013 4:27:27 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: Wolfie

If the parents were responsible for all the carnage by turning this irresponsible failure on society and providing him a car, they should be locked up for the 20 year sentence, and of course, every dime they have should be given to the victims’ families.

And State District Judge Boyd should be barred from the bench. She obviously is not capable of rendering justice. A jury would never have rendered such a verdict in TX. Greg Abbott, TX Atty. Gen,, should check her bank records to see if this outrageous miscarriage of justice was purchased.


3 posted on 12/12/2013 4:34:36 AM PST by txrefugee
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To: Wolfie

Affluenza Disease — Now I’ve heard it all.

Isn’t the judge exacerbating the kid’s disease with his ruling???


4 posted on 12/12/2013 4:36:25 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: Uncle Chip
Isn’t the judge exacerbating the kid’s disease with his ruling???

In psycho terms, it is called 'enabling!' Like that judge up in Montana who 'sentenced' a 54 yo teacher to 30 days in jail for raping his 14 yo student, this is not really punishment but instead a slap-on-the-wrists!

5 posted on 12/12/2013 4:54:20 AM PST by SES1066 (To expect courteous government is insanity!)
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To: Wolfie

Oy

Somewhere in California?

No curiosity over the neighborhood?


6 posted on 12/12/2013 4:55:33 AM PST by stanne
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To: Wolfie

Things like this happen every day in 3rd World countries where a person can be too wealthy to go to jail. In those countries, judges are simply paid off by the wealthy, but that could never happen in this country, now could it?


7 posted on 12/12/2013 4:56:34 AM PST by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war, and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: Uncle Chip
Anything over 0.17 should be considered attempted murder, killing someone while drunk should be murder. Funny thing is that the organization that supposedly stands for tougher drunk driving laws is silent when someone wants to get tough on either the truly drunk of repeat drunk drivers. But, when they can reduce the level from .10 to .08 MADD is right there.

The reason for this is that much of their funding comes from teaching the classes drunks have to take to get their driving privleges back.

Twice I got checks from MADD for $2.50 with envelopes that said “check enclosed”, the ltr asked me to send the check back to them with more money. Both times I cashed them at a bar and endorsed the check with, “Thanks for the drink”.

8 posted on 12/12/2013 4:58:24 AM PST by logic101.net (How many more children must die on the altar of "gun free zones"?)
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To: Wolfie

The US judicial system thereby proved itself to be a whore.


9 posted on 12/12/2013 5:01:01 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: DJ Taylor
Things like this happen every day in 3rd World countries where a person can be too wealthy to go to jail. In those countries, judges are simply paid off by the wealthy, but that could never happen in this country, now could it?

LOL.

How many bank execs and pols involved in the 2008 financial crisis went to jail?

10 posted on 12/12/2013 5:03:21 AM PST by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: DJ Taylor

The psychologist has interesting sentences. It is not that “he” has never learned to be sorry, it was “you” have never learned to be sorry. And what agency just got a $450,000. endowment through a new patient. The sentence should be appeal. “Affluenza” my butt.


11 posted on 12/12/2013 5:03:23 AM PST by healy61
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To: Wolfie
State District Judge Jean Boyd is the one who aborted justice.


12 posted on 12/12/2013 5:08:19 AM PST by Carl Vehse
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To: Wolfie

what the folk does is parents’ income have to do with his criminal recklessness?

Listen, all you who want to throw away the key, the fact that he was blotto negates intent. Negligent homicide is about all you get. Since he was affluent, he probably had lots of insurance, unlike the minimally insured drunk.

Yes, it is a tragedy all the way around. But putting a 16 year old high school student in a prison population of people who committed intentional crimes is not legal or right. Just the way it is.


13 posted on 12/12/2013 5:14:12 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: txrefugee
If the parents were responsible for all the carnage by turning this irresponsible failure on society and providing him a car, they should be locked up for the 20 year sentence, and of course, every dime they have should be given to the victims’ families.

Precisely. And they have already conveniently made the case for that.

14 posted on 12/12/2013 5:17:28 AM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Wolfie
Miller said Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have," raised in an environment of privilege that afforded him no understanding of actions and their consequences.

5-10 years in prison would give him an excellent understanding of how his actions have consequences.

15 posted on 12/12/2013 5:18:55 AM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Uncle Chip

I think Judges have a “there but for the Grace of God go I” mentality when it comes to drunk driving. Especially if the defendant is of the same socio-economic class.


16 posted on 12/12/2013 5:22:20 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: DJ Taylor

“judges are simply paid off by the wealthy, but that could never happen in this country, now could it?”

Of course not. Here, the lawyers get a cut first.

Just charge a high price and split with the judge over drinks.

I’ve never known a wealthy person who did time for anything. And I’ve known plenty that should have.

The law has become a tool of oppression, not enforcement.


17 posted on 12/12/2013 5:24:29 AM PST by varyouga
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To: Wolfie

The judge needs to be impeached and removed and jailed for this miscarriage of justice.


18 posted on 12/12/2013 5:26:27 AM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: stanne

Tarrant County, Texas (Fort Worth/Arlington area).


19 posted on 12/12/2013 5:28:12 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie

This sentence just makes me mad. Young, rich, stupid, and drunk…. and mommy and daddy make it all possible.


20 posted on 12/12/2013 5:35:11 AM PST by Nifster
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To: yldstrk

you are incorrect. Being drunk or high on drugs is not a mitigating factor…. because an ordinary person would anticipate an accident even one causing death if some one is drunk and gets behind the wheel of a car.

You are either just dimd or you spent too many years defending criminals


21 posted on 12/12/2013 5:38:28 AM PST by Nifster
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To: Wolfie

The judge is blaming the parents.

So — if I”m the families of the victims I sue the parents and cite the judge’s ruling as evidence.


22 posted on 12/12/2013 5:45:53 AM PST by Uncle Chip
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To: Wolfie

“The psychologist ultimately branded Couch a product of “affluenza.”

If they were poor, it would be called what it is. Bad parenting.


23 posted on 12/12/2013 5:46:25 AM PST by ToastedHead
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To: Carl Vehse
State District Judge Jean Boyd is the one who aborted justice.

Unfortunately she has been elected in my county and was most likely unopposed. In the next election I'm betting she is apposed and defeated.

24 posted on 12/12/2013 6:16:59 AM PST by fella ("As it was before Noah so shall it be again,")
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To: txrefugee

I would expect mega civil suits to follow. Lawyers everywhere.


25 posted on 12/12/2013 6:17:03 AM PST by showme_the_Glory (ILLEGAL: prohibited by law. ALIEN: Owing political allegiance to another country or government)
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To: DoodleDawg

Bet he wears a neck brace whenever out near media....


26 posted on 12/12/2013 6:22:07 AM PST by esoxmagnum (Turtles don't win fights, they just turtle up. Victory belongs to the aggressor, not the turtle.)
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To: Wolfie

So, now being rich and spoiled is a handicap?


27 posted on 12/12/2013 6:22:45 AM PST by drunknsage
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To: Wolfie

If he had killed a member of my family this would be the outcome I’d want.
Justice would be served.


28 posted on 12/12/2013 6:26:39 AM PST by Vinnie
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To: Nifster

It negates intent

different from a mitigating factor

and I do not defend criminals

but I did take criminal law

I do family law trying to keep these dimwits from imploding their families due to lust


29 posted on 12/12/2013 6:36:55 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Uncle Chip

I’m sure part of the reason the sentence is what it is has to do with the huge amounts all the injured received from the insurance company


30 posted on 12/12/2013 6:38:03 AM PST by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

do we let murderers go because of life insurance?


31 posted on 12/12/2013 6:39:10 AM PST by GeronL (Extra Large Cheesy Over-Stuffed Hobbit)
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To: Wolfie

They are sending him out of state to prevent others from exacting vengeance on him.

The purpose of the courts is to provide justice. When they fail to do so, vigilantism results. If this young man was found brutally murdered, with the suspected murderer being related to his victims, would a jury of his peers convict him?


32 posted on 12/12/2013 6:50:54 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Last Obamacare Promise: "If You Like Your Eternal Soul, You Can Keep It.")
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To: Wolfie

And you thought the “Twinkie Defense” was ridiculous.


33 posted on 12/12/2013 6:52:52 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Nifster

I go crazy ‘cause my folks are so f’ing rich
Have to score when I get that rich white punk itch
Sounds real classy, living in a chateau
So lonely, all the other kids will never know

We’re white punks on dope
Mom & Dad live in Hollywood
Hang myself when I get enough rope
Can’t clean up, though I know I should
White punks on dope
White punks on dope

-The Tubes


34 posted on 12/12/2013 6:54:24 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: dfwgator

Imagine what an affluent twinkie eater could get away with.

I think this sort of thing all boils down to a judge sitting across from a defendant who looks very much like them or their loved ones, and from the same type of background, and saying “eh, he’s not such a bad kid”.


35 posted on 12/12/2013 6:56:13 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Wolfie

I think somebody paid the bitch of a judge off.


36 posted on 12/12/2013 6:57:16 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: Carl Vehse

And how conveeeeenient that she’s retiring.

Yeah with all of that cash she’s just come into from is parents, she’s going to have a real nice vacation.


37 posted on 12/12/2013 6:58:25 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: txrefugee

One can almost guarantee that an unmarked envelope stuffed with hard cash was handed to this Judge through a willing intermediary.


38 posted on 12/12/2013 7:19:05 AM PST by februus
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To: ToastedHead
If they were poor, it would be called what it is. Bad parenting.


Poor and white; otherwise it would be society's fault.

So, he killed 4 people and no jail time...I think he’s earned a bounty.

39 posted on 12/12/2013 7:21:11 AM PST by fungoking (Tis a pleasure to live in the Ozarks)
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To: yldstrk
the fact that he was blotto negates intent

BS. He chose to get behind the wheel with a belly full of beer.

40 posted on 12/12/2013 7:29:36 AM PST by kobald
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To: DJ Taylor
Things like this happen every day in 3rd World countries where a person can be too wealthy to go to jail.

This sort of corruption makes people that much more inclined to listen to "eat the rich" socialist rhetoric.

41 posted on 12/12/2013 7:31:56 AM PST by kobald
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To: Wolfie
N-E-G-L-E-C-T
Find out what it means to kids

It cuts across all demographics - that's the beauty of neglect.
42 posted on 12/12/2013 7:41:29 AM PST by jobim (.)
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To: yldstrk
what the folk does is parents’ income have to do with his criminal recklessness?

The best justice money can buy.

43 posted on 12/12/2013 7:43:35 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: Nifster
Young, rich, stupid, and drunk….

The young part will change over time. I have no faith in him ever not being stupid, not being rich, and not being a drunk.

44 posted on 12/12/2013 7:44:55 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: yldstrk
I’m sure part of the reason the sentence is what it is has to do with the huge amounts all the injured received from the insurance company.

The 'injured' received nothing. They're dead. Four of them. Any one of which was probably a greater loss to society than this slobbering drunk would have been.

45 posted on 12/12/2013 7:55:08 AM PST by DoodleDawg
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To: Wolfie

What language is he ffluent in?


46 posted on 12/12/2013 7:56:56 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: Lazamataz

Money talks in all languages.


47 posted on 12/12/2013 8:15:03 AM PST by kobald
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To: DoodleDawg
I’m going to predict two things right now. 1) He isn’t going to stop drinking, and 2) These four are not the only people he will wind up killing.

We can only hope he violates his probation before the latter prediction comes true...

48 posted on 12/12/2013 8:15:10 AM PST by Conscience of a Conservative
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To: showme_the_Glory
I would expect mega civil suits to follow. Lawyers everywhere.

Yup. The only silver lining in this "affluenza" sentence, is that the judge's finding may make it easier to go after the parents in a civil suit. The cure for this kid's "affluenza" just may be bankrupting his parents.

49 posted on 12/12/2013 8:18:18 AM PST by Conscience of a Conservative
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To: Wolfie
Seen things like this a few times.

A gentleman that used to be our janitor had his daughter killed by a rich drunk driver. That driver got off, even though he hit the child in the gentleman's front yard.

The gentleman was an undertaker. He visited the young drunk at the hospital, where the nurse left him alone with a scalpel for a few minutes. The drunk had a “Joker” smile as a result, and the gentleman served ten years in prison.

The drunk later killed more people when he pancaked his new sports car into an over pass on I35. The gentleman was released, and now is a prison minister.

We have a legal system, not a justice system.

50 posted on 12/12/2013 8:18:29 AM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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