Taxpayers to foot the bill for “affluenza” teen’s treatment
DALLAS – A teenager who was convicted of killing four people and severely injuring two others while drunk driving is back in the headlines.
Authorities say 16-year-old Ethan Couch admitted to drinking alcohol the night his speeding truck caused a chain-reaction crash that killed four people and injured several others.
Hollie and Shelby Boyles were helping 24-year-old Breanna Mitchell, whose car was stranded on the side of the road.
Brian Jennings, a youth pastor, also stopped to help the stranded motorist.
That’s when Couch’s vehicle slammed into them.
All four were killed.
Three hours after the crash, Couch’s blood alcohol level was .24, three times the legal limit in Texas.
He was arrested and charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter.
The trial made national news after Couch’s attorney said the teen was a product of “affluenza,” saying Couch’s parents had so much money, he never had to learn about consequences.
The attorney claimed Couch had always been taught that wealth buys privilege, so he could not reasonably be held accountable for his actions.
The judge ruled that Couch would have to undergo long-term treatment at an alcohol rehab center and sentenced him to probation.
Now, the victims’ families are outraged by the latest details released in the case.
The state-run facility that is taking care of Couch costs $715 per day.
However, Couch’s family will only have to pay $1,170 per month, which is less than the cost of two days.
According to Fox4, taxpayers will be forced to make up the $20,280 difference each month.
Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, said, “Money always seems to keep Ethan out of trouble. This was one time I did ask the court that for justice and that for money not to prevail and, ultimately, today I felt like money did prevail.”
Couch will be on probation for 10 years.
If he violates any of the conditions of his probation over that time span, he could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.