Tags: ethan couch | drunk | driving | teen | no | jail

Ethan Couch, Drunk Teen in Fatal Crash, Gets 10 Years Probation, No Jail

By Alexandra Ward   |   Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 01:52 PM

Ethan Couch, the Texas teen who drove drunk and killed four people back in June, was sentenced this week to 10 years of probation instead of jail time after a psychologist argued that he's a victim of "affluenza."

Couch, 16, had a blood alcohol content of 0.24 — three times the legal limit — on June 15 after he stole beer from Wal-Mart and crashed his speeding pickup truck into a group of people standing on the side of the road in Fort Worth, according to CNN.

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Youth pastor Brian Jennings; mother and daughter Hollie and Shelby Boyles; and 24-year-old Breanna Mitchell died in the accident, and two of Couch's friends who were riding in the bed of his truck were seriously injured.

Prosecutors pushed for the 20-year maximum prison sentence but the judge sided with the defense, which argued that Couch was the victim of wealthy parents that gave him "freedoms no young person should have."

According to CNN affiliate WFAA, Dr. G. Dick Miller testified that Couch's life could be salvaged with one to two years' treatment and no contact with his parents.

Couch's defense attorneys have asked that the boy be sent to a small, residential treatment facility in California. According to KHOU.com, the teen's father has agreed to foot the $450,000 bill.

Many of the victims' family members spoke out about their disappointment with the sentencing.

"There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day. The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can't buy justice in this country," Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter in the crash, told CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" on Wednesday night. "For 25 weeks, I've been going through a healing process. And so when the verdict came out, I mean, my immediate reaction is — I'm back to week one. We have accomplished nothing here. My healing process is out the window."

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