Drunk 16-year-old kills four people and gets off with just probation… because he is too wealthy?

A Texas judge has issued a stunning verdict in the case of a Fort Worth teenager who killed four and critically injured two others in a drunken car accident. Ethan Couch, a 16-year-old from a wealthy family, faced up to 20 years in prison for the deadly accident he caused. Instead, he received a 10-year probation sentence after defense attorneys argued the teen’s parents spoiled him and never taught him the difference between right and wrong.

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“I don’t understand it. There’s a story about a 16-year-old kid who was driving a truck – he’s drunk; he’s got a bunch of kids in his car. Three times the legal limit. He kills four people,” Glenn said on radio this morning. “So what happens to him? What’s the punishment for this kid? Probation. What? Probation. Now, why did he get probation?”

“Well, because, Glenn, he didn’t have a chance. He didn’t have a chance in life,” Pat explained. “As we all know, when you’re wealthy and you’ve been given everything in life, you just, you don’t have a chance. So I mean, I think we can all agree that probation was probably even too stern a punishment for him…. That’s actually what they are saying.”

Got that? This young adult is not responsible for his actions because his family was too privileged to teach him how to handle situations in which things don’t go your way.

According to the Star-Telegram:

Defense attorneys enlisted a psychologist to testify that the teen had essentially raised himself and he had an emotional age of 12.

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

“He never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way,” Miller added. “He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no young man would be able to handle.”

As Glenn argued, the state is actually perpetuating the problem the parents caused by not holding the teenager accountable. How will he ever learn about responsibility, if he isn’t even held responsible for murder?

“You’re 16-years-old. You know you’re not supposed to be on Valium, on alcohol, and getting into the back of a truck. And so what they’re saying is this kid was never disciplined before. He was never taught, and so he didn’t really know. And so the judge lets him go,” Glenn explained. “Well, what are you teaching him now? You’re not holding him responsible now. Now the state is continuing the problem that his parents caused… I mean, jeez.”

This ruling seems to resemble the story of Goldilocks.

“Do we all live in Goldilocksville,” Glenn asked. “Because if you don’t have enough, you can’t be held responsible. If you have too much, you can’t be held responsible.

“It has to be just the right amount,” Pat added. “That’s why we focus on the middle class so much. Everybody aspires to the middle class. You don’t want too much and you don’t want too little.”

So what does that notion mean for society as a whole? In theory, it seems to suggest the only people who will actually be held accountable are the ones who are working hard and doing their job.

“Who does that leave… The only ones that will ever pay the price are the ones who are actually doing their job. They are actually showing up… They are doing all of the right things. They’re raising their kids to the best of their ability… They have a job… If you screw up, you’re toast because… you did it just right, so we’re going to hold you responsible,” Glenn said. “But the people who had too much, they can’t be held responsible if they had too much. If they had too little, they can’t be held responsible. So only the people who are trying are the ones going to be held responsible. That is insane. That’s absolutely insane. But why not?”

While the families of those who were killed at Counch’s hands are obviously distraught, one mother sought to find the silver lining.

Marla Mitchell, whose daughter died in the accident, said even though he avoided jail time, “he’s not free.”
“None of us knows what God’s plan is,” Mitchell said. “He has not escaped judgment. That is in the hands of a higher power.”

“Justice is eternal, and things will balance themselves out,” Glenn concluded. “When you get to this point where you’re saying, ‘Oh, you know what? You had too much and you’re not responsible for killing four people,’ then the whole country has affluenza. And the only answer is we’ll destroy ourselves. We’re not going to be destroyed for it… God is not a punisher… You punish yourself… None of this stuff has to happen. It’s in our individual choice. [But] we’re teaching that this kid doesn’t have a choice. 16-years-old and he didn’t have a choice.”

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    Wealth, power, prestige, and a hefty bribe off the record arranges many unfair sentences for those of the left who are among the ‘enlightened elite.’

    Everyone else, especially those of us in the middle class just trying to get by, are considered nothing more than wolf bait to be disposed of without mercy or the least bit of compassion being shown.

    Welcome to the new America, where the enfeoffed leftists rule and justice has three different tiers: one for the rich of the left, one for the favored of society, and one for everyone else.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    This shows how out of control and unequal our justice system has become.

  • Anonymous

    If this kid had hurt anybody in my family, I wouldn’t waste my time being mad at the courts. I’d dispose of him MY way.

  • Anonymous

    This has nothing to do with left vs. right. I think this has everything to do with influence and money, regardless of political standing. Money buys the best defense. Look at OJ. Just because someone’s parents don’t teach them correctly means he’s a leftist.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8FvmesaxXg Sam Fisher

    He should of got life what is this bull.

  • Anonymous

    By this logic he could have murdered in the first degree and got probation.I will never again say OJ got away with murder.How could he have known trying to remove a persons head was ….well not nice?

  • Anonymous

    The kid should have gone to jail and the parents ordered to take counselling. This is unbelievable. I hope the families hurt by this tragedy will take this case to a higher court.

  • Anonymous

    Hey judge, BS!!!

  • FC

    I really don’t see how this has anything to do with wealth either. It has to do with parenting. Poor parents can be just as bad as rich parents. So, any kid that has not been taught right from wrong should not be punished for breaking the law even if they come from a rich or poor family. Makes absolutely no sense at all, and to blame it on wealth also makes no sense..

  • jesustheonlyway

    God’s message to people who twist the truth: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20

  • Anonymous

    It should not be over. If his family is a rich as this story claims. Now that the criminal trial is over, Civil Suits for wrongfull death can begin and will punish this kid and his family. May be he will learn to do without.

  • Elena

    Ya know I had a kid working for me on the ship who raised himself fm age 6 up. He did a much better job than this bozo! My kid was scattered, but he had a good heart and knew right fm wrong.

  • Anonymous

    Five will get you ten this excuse for a judge is from the Liberal/Progressive north. Transplanted Texans are usually from a failed or failing state seeking to bring to Texas the policies that failed in their home state. Border control for Texas should be 4 sided.

  • Anonymous

    It’s been that way in “just” America for a long time. MONEY talks everywhere. MONEY can buy “justice” even at the supreme court level. Where there’s money, lives mean little, especially ones without money.

  • dmprisk

    This happened in Texas and was this a jury trial? or just decided by this Texas Judge? Now much was the Judge paid off with?$$

  • bob machaffy

    makes you wonder how much the parents kick backed a few bucks to this judge

  • bob machaffy

    i doubt it, insurance will pay, the parents insurance will increase, the kid will continue to take drugs, drink and probably kill someone else

  • terryK

    Parents were always responsible for their children’s actions years ago if the children were still living at home. If this child receives NO consequences for his actions because of his upbringing then I’d like to see the victim’s family bring a lawsuit against the parents. Good way to wake up some neglectful parents in this country.

  • Anonymous

    This literally boils my blood. It’s amazing how status and wealth controls so much in this world. This guy has his hands stained in blood for making many terrible decisions, and yet, no punishment. What’s even worse is that he doesn’t believe he is accountable for the deaths. Disgusting. Now somewhat to a MUCH lesser degree this reminds me of the college football players in Oregon who went crazy with the snow-ball fight and disruption. They believed that they were above civility and rules because of their status. I’m only 27 yrs old, yet I find myself constantly asking the same question as my grandparents, “What’s happening to the youth of this nation?” haha. Seriously though.

  • Karen

    If it is the parents’ faults, then they need to go to jail along with the kid. How can the court not bring charges against the parents if that is the defense that was accepted by this court? As someone who lost her two grandparents and two great-aunts to a drunk driver, I know what these families are experiencing and their lives will never be the same. May God give comfort to the families that have lost a loved one.

  • Leaha Garner

    So he kills 4 people.. AT 16.. Goes to a “treatment” program and he’s cured.. ARE YOU KIDDING ME.. SEND HIS ASS TO THE PEN…

  • Leaha Garner

    AMEN

  • Leaha Garner

    The fact of the matter is that money got him off.. HE KILLED 4 PEOPLE.. I CANT EVEN WRAP MY HEAD AROUND THIS

  • Leaha Garner

    HIS PARENTS SHOULD GO TO JAIL..

  • Leaha Garner

    ssj429.. Your way beyond your years.. I hope that more people in your age bracket start to identify with you… I’m 38 and I totally agree..

  • LabRat

    lower, middle, and upper class need to be renamed to…

    Protected, Punished and Privileged.

  • Anonymous

    It is not the money, it is the attitude. Class is not a function of wealth, it is ingrained in the family. My family was rather low income, but I went to Princeton in the Fifties where there were a number of the offspring of wealthy families. One of my friends was a Rockefeller, his allowance for personal expenses was about the same as mine. Old line families believed that their children should learn responsibility. He washed his clothes in the same laundromat that I did.

    Years later I had a small house in a closed community, Tuxedo Park, NY. Those in the mansions enjoyed “pig a blanket, and a self service bar” at my house just as much as I enjoyed the caviar and served drinks at theirs. It is not the wealth that corrupts, it is the attitude toward it.

  • http://suzeraining.wordpress.com/ suz

    judge got paid.

    perhaps one day, someone ‘from the government’ will come knocking on his door saying remember when we did this for you? well, we need you to do this for us.

  • pc

    He knew, wasn’t he scared ? Yes he was. He was scared because he knew what he had done and what would happen to him this made up illness is bs and that lawyer along with the judge in this tragedy should be held accountable for their actions also.

  • Reddlegg99

    I’ll take your bet this judge was the best money cod buy.. This judge is more than likely running for re election and his campaign funds just got fat. If the defendant was poor and being defended by a public defender then your argument would be sound.

  • Anonymous

    This is such shame. I watched the news and saw this. What a disgrace and to know that the judge is retiring so anything goes. You could see on that child’s face that he is so disconnected and non-caring. There was just no emotion on his face. He knows that his parents are there to get him out of anything, and to know that the Dad was and is willing to pay $450,000.00 a year to get him into some type of rehab. Shameful. He needs prison time, then give him the 10 years of probation. He will do it again if he knows that his folks are there to get him out again.

  • Adora Sala

    This makes me so angry that my insides hurt. How could this be?

  • Anonymous

    If I was family of one of the victims I’d make sure that kid had to look over his shoulder the rest of his life.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe the civil suits will cure them of this disease and make them as poor as church mice.

  • Anonymous

    Until both parents are held legally responsible for the behavior of their own underage children, what should we expect?

  • BlueMN

    The 1% getting away with murder again.

  • steve ward

    amen

  • Becky Luschei

    Any sensible adult can see that this whole issue with this “affluent” kid getting off with just probation because he never learned empathy? Never learned right from wrong? Never learned values? Never learned to cope? Okay. Who’s fault is that? First, THERE IS NO SUCH DISORDER NAMED “AFLUENZA!” There just is no such thing! This is a word used to excuse the behavior of rich folks getting away with murder and any other crime. It’s a clever lawyers tactic. The very word itself sounds like a viral disease! Why was this kid socially inept? Why was he irresponsible? HIS PARENTS! You have kids; you RAISE them! Kids are not STATUS SYMBOLS! Kids need to be taught right from wrong; how to cope with life (folks, nobody ever said that life is fair. It never has been and never will be.); they need to be taught values and the very cornerstones of proper social living! This was not the case, here. This boy is just a STATUS SYMBOL of his parents. He may as well have been another expensive HOUSE PLANT in his folks’ mansion, for all they’ve taught him. THEY ARE LARGELY TO BLAME! They should be held accountable, right along with this spoiled brat teen! He also is culpable because, even though he is still a minor, he is old enough to have learned right from wrong and the consequences of his behavior from being around other folks! He’s NOT A STUPID kid. He actually appears to be a bright person. This is happening all across the board in all social circles and socioeconomic groups. People are having kids to have kids and then they are merely “convenienced” to death by electronic babysitters, “no fail” policies, “nobody loses” concepts. We are not teaching our kids the basics of social living for correct survival in life!

    On to the next Bozos. The judge should be removed from the bench. The kids lawyers need to be disbarred and sued for everything. Why? For condoning and excusing this heinous behavior. Next, the kid’s folks need to be sued for everything for improperly raising their child. The kid knows nothing, apparently. This kid needs to serve his time just so he can learn that THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES to his behavior. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES for bad, irresponsible behavior no matter how old you are! The lawyer defending the surviving victims pointed out that if he had done the same thing at the same age, he would have been “sent up the river.” He would have, too! Why? For not being rich and for, God forbid and I don’t subscribe to this perspective, being black! I grew up in a lower middle-class family. I’m white. Gender aside, if I had done the same thing, I would have also been sent up the river, too!

    Why is he getting off so easy? Money, plain and simple. It’s all about the “ALMIGHTY DOLLAR.” If that fair? No. Unfortunately, that is the way it is. We teach our kids, in this way, that having money means you aren’t culpable for your actions because you can buy anyone off ~ including JUDGES! THIS is the message we are sending to our kids; there are ways to EXCUSE away any and all bad behavior and heinous crimes. What happened to “you do the crime; you pay the price?”

    Pitiful. Absolutely pitiful. I pity our society because it no longer has any backbone! We are a spoiled, entitlement driven, excuse-making, finger-pointing society that does not take responsibility for our actions and accepts the responsibility. This goes ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP (Yes, DC, I’m referring to you, too, including Mr. Pres. ) Just sayin…..It’s a SAD STATE OF AFFAIRS.

  • Fat Lip

    Agree with you 100% his name in are home would be Target ! he earned it let him wear it well .

  • John72

    first thing we say is civil suit, how are we all of us not crying for justice not the amount of money they can get justice. In the same respect, if he sues and is rich he can kill this kid and use the same damn defense. This is our society.

  • John72

    he had rules in school, he knew he had to be 16 to drive, this gives a defense the world will use. Molesters who had no idea? gang youth this is our way of life? sad part is this will be forgotten in weeks.

  • John72

    NO not great attorneys, this was made up. Everyone has a kid they know is wrong, they will deal with it, pay out. Nothing about lawyers, it is texas they have there own laws. In 2 yrs the parents will pay more money to overturn the not seeing him order.

  • John72

    and yes, god doesnt do shit. We use god when we cant control what is happening.

  • Dirk Agia

    I think people make a mistake when they call out people for “White Privilege” as not all of us are well connected, rich or powerful. What this comes down to is “Green Privilege” (aka money) as those with it can get way with murder… literally.

  • Bart

    Perhaps if they would sentence the parents to 20 years in prison the message might get out that you have a responsibility to raise your kids to be productive members of society. Guessing that after the lawsuits are done the kid isn’t going to ever have to worry about being rich again.

  • Anonymous

    I wonder if because of his wealth he will be sued? To each their own, but the comments of the mother whose daughter was killed is just…well… certainly not my views. I am an atheist (not one of those mean ones), you can believe whatever you want. However, we really don’t know what happens when we die we only know what happens here on earth and he should be punished here and now for what he did. How could he not know what he did was wrong? Emotional age of 12… oh pleeese even twelve year olds know right from wrong.

  • Bob Brink

    His father should be the one gong to jail. It would have been his father who bought a 16 year old kid a one-ton truck. His father has major ego issues by buying that kid that kind of vehicle. If the kid had been driving, let’s say a Honda, I doubt there would have been so many people killed or injured. I hope the families get every dime they sue for. One responder on here thinks their insurance will pay for everything. Policies have limits, even with a rider. This family may even end up declaring bankruptcy just to get out of paying off the lawsuits. I bet his father is right now trying to hide his assets to keep from losing everything.

  • fire lion

    Funny no one here is asking for the people who created the financial disaster of 2008 to go to jail, and their excuse is ” they are too rich to know better! they just good old greedy people; cant jail them for that!”

  • http://www.mafiamofo.com/register.php?referer=117297 MzStuNNa

    Affluenza? Okay but he still made a conscience decision to drink and get intoxicated. That just goes to show that “money talks” and equality/fairness walks in justice system . The States Attorney is actually still working on the case and pushing for jail time. They may be able to appeal the judges decision and request a different judge. I also read that the families of the victims are suing for over 20 million dollars. The judge should have ordered 10 years in jail and another 10 years in rehab.

  • Nick Dahnert

    Ah, not all of the north is Liberal bud. Also liberal is not the same as progressive and double the border control on the south of Texas. As far as Drunk Driving goes, this kid along with a million other repeat DD killed or not, THEY SHOULD BE GIVEN THE ‘A CLOCKWORK ORANGE’ TREATMENT, NO LIE UNTIL……….insert user reply

  • Nick Dahnert

    lol, made me think of a funny. “Here is Ethan Couch, a 16 year old from Texas. He killed 4 while DD and got 10 years probation. Now here is Chewbacca, but Chewie has nothing to do with this case and thus THIS CASE DOES NOT MAKE SENSE, SO YOU MUST ACQUIT.”