VIDEO: TX teen gets 10 years probation due to 'affluenza' after killing 4 while drunk driving
POSTED: Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 11:47am
UPDATED: Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 6:53pm
CNN (WFAA, KTVT) — A Texas teenager got behind the wheel drunk and killed four.
Prosecutors pushed for a 20-year sentence for 16-year-old Ethan Couch, but a judge sentenced the teen to just 10 years, probation.
The teen's attorney chose an unusual defense to keep him out of prison.
Prosecutors and family members of victims were shocked when a judge sentenced 16-year-old Couch to 10 years probation, with no jail time.
A psychologist testified for the defense that the teen is a product of something he called "affluenza." This means, he basically doesn't link bad behavior with consequences because his parents taught him that wealth buys privilege.
The judge ruled Couch would not be released to his parents, and must undergo long-term treatment at an alcohol rehab center. His father has reportedly agreed to pay roughly $500,000 to send him to a pricey rehab center in California.
Couch's attorney said the sentence will teach the teen that there are consequences for his actions. Taking him away from his family and teaching him to be a responsible citizen, that's a consequence.
But victims' family members disagree.
Eric Boyles lost his wife and daughter in the accident and this verdict, he says, doesn't give victims' family the justice they need for closure.