Texas Teenager Ethan Couch (16), was sentenced to 10 years of probation with no immediate jail time, after his June 15th, 2013 DUI accident that killed four and injured two others. The night of the crash, Ethan Couch and friends were caught on camera stealing alcohol from a local Walmart. Hours later, Couch crashed his father’s Ford F-350 truck into, and tragically killed, Breanna Mitchell (24), Hollie (21) and Shelby Boyles (52), and local youth pastor Brian Jennings (43).
Ethan Couch and the Four People Who Perished from his DUI Accident
As the story was reported, Breanna Mitchell’s SUV had broken down and friend Hollie Boyles offered to come help with the vehicle; Hollie’s mother Shelby had accompanied her. Pastor Brian Jennings happened to be driving past when he saw the women outside the SUV, and decided to stop and attempt to help. Ethan Couch, driving around 70mph, then drove the truck through the group killing all four of them. When police arrived on scene it was reported Couch had a .BAC of .24% which is three times the limit for drivers who are of the legal drinking age.
The two teens who were in the bed of the truck when it crashed are still hospitalized, with one of them being in a vegetative state.
Couch was sentenced to 10 years probation, under the defense of Affluenza, a claim that because of his upbringing and family’s wealth he did not know right from wrong. The lone psychologist who testified, Dick Miller, claimed that Couch grew up in a world where money cured all problems.
“The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone. If you hurt someone, you sent him money.”
Miller went on to testify that Ethan’s family, “felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.”
District Judge Jean Boyd was unconvinced the Texas juvenile justice system could handle Ethan Couch’s rehabilitative sentence, so she suggested he be taken to a rehabilitation facility in Newport Beach, California.
Any deviations from the sentence given may lead to much harsher penalties, including jail, over the course of the 10 year probationary period.
If you or someone you know needs to defend a DUI in California please contact an experienced DUI lawyer in Newport Beach. It doesn’t cost anything to find out your options.