Ethan Couch gets no jail time, probation in fatal drunk driving crash
(WFAA/CNN) - Despite the push for a 20-year prison sentence for a Texas teenager who killed four people in a drunk driving crash, family members are horrified that he got just 10 years of probation.
What more, many are baffled at the successful defense used to get the 16-year-old out of time behind bars.
Prosecutors and family members of the victims were shocked when a judge sentenced Ethan Couch, 16, to no jail time after the June 15 crash, which killed a youth pastor, a teen girl, her mother and another woman.
Couch's defense attorneys argued that the teenager is a product of something called "affluenza." It's a state of mind where the teen doesn't like bad behavior with consequences because his parents taught him that wealth buys privilege.
According to WFAA, Couch was drunk when he was driving a pickup truck nearly 30 miles per hour over a 40 mph speed limit at the time of the crash, which killed four and hurt 9 others. Authorities say that his blood-alcohol level was 0.24.
The judge ruled that Couch must undergo long-term treatment at an alcohol rehabilitation center. His father has reportedly agreed to pay upwards of $500,000 to send him to a high-end rehab center in California.
"Taking him away from his family and teaching him to be a responsible citizen - that's a consequence," his attorney, Scott Brown, said.
That's very little consolation to the families of the victims, including Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash. The verdict doesn't give the families the justice they sought.
"I'm back to week one," Boyles said. "We have accomplished nothing here. My healing process is out the window."