“I’m Outta Here”: Wealthy Texas Teen Kills Four People, Seriously Injures Others, In DUI Case . . . Given Probation and No Jail Time

250px-Richie_Rich_comic_No_1There is a bizarre case out of Texas where Ethan Couch, 16, was facing 20 years for killing four people in a drunk driving incident. His wealthy family hired a top gun trial attorney and leading expert who invoked what could be called the Richie Rich defense — Couch’s long spoiled lifestyle in the top one percent left him uncaring and irresponsible . . . and left four people dead. It would seem the type of argument that would produce a lynching rather than a light sentence in front of most juries. However, Couch was in front of State District Judge Jean Boyd, who sentenced him to probation and therapy. Couch, it turns out, predicted the outcome. Described as non-cooperative at the accident scene, he reportedly said “I’m Outta here” and walked away.

Couch pleaded guilty to driving drunk and could certainly expect a reduction in light of the plea. However, few people expected no jail time. However, the defense insisted that what Couch needed was therapy and argued that such therapy would cost more than $450,000 a year at a rehabilitation facility near Newport Beach, California– which would be paid by his wealthy parents. Half a million a year? That is the highest claim that I have encountered in such cases.

At trial, the defense expert Gary Miller trashed the parents as messing up their son, particularly after a bitter divorce. The father was described as someone who “does not have relationships, he takes hostages.” The mother was described as a materialistic individual right out of Bonfire of the Vanities with a “mantra was that if it feels good, do it.” The accident fittingly occurred on Father’s Day.

Miller insisted that Couch basically raised himself. An ironic argument since he would have received more jail time as an abusive parent than as the killer for four people in this case.

As a result, Couch walked despite a plea to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury. Couch had seven passengers in his Ford F-350. Seven. Two were riding in his bed of the truck. Those two kids were seriously injured. Solimon Mohmand had extensive broken bones and internal injuries while Sergio Molina remains paralyzed and communicates by blinking his eyes. Therapy is not going to do much for Molina.

131211204106-ac-intv-boyles-teen-drunk-driver-probation-00010519-story-bodyDjF8o.St.58The dead included Breanna Mitchell who was by the side of the road with a broken car; Hollie and Shelby Boyles (right), who came out of their homes to help Mitchell; and Burleson youth minister Brian Jennings (shown left), a passer-by who had also stopped to help. Couch was going 70 miles an hour (in a 40 miles an hour zone) when he smashed into the car.

Couch had a BAL that was three times the legal limit as well as Valium in his system.

He appears narcissistic and spoiled but one would think that holding him accountable would have tremendous therapeutic value. If not, it would do wonders for the families of the victims.

Yet, Couch asked for the judge to sentence him — a smart move.

The irony did not escape Tarrant County assistant district attorney who noted that under this “too spoiled to care” defense “[t]here can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment he received here.”

2pics_richgirlNow Couch can move on with this life. One possible dating prospect can be found in New York with Rachael Sacks who attracted a firestorm with a published essay on why “I’m Not Going To Pretend That I’m Poor To Be Accepted By You” . Sacks has words that might resonate with Master Couch: “People have been very mean to me. But people have been mean to me my whole life, so what. They think I’m a spoiled brat, and I am.”

There has been no public word from the parents who were featured so prominently in their son’s defense and candidates for the worst parents — let along people — in the world. Judging from the expert testimony, the response to the verdict of the mother was likely something like this:

The father was also no doubt celebrating:

115 thoughts on ““I’m Outta Here”: Wealthy Texas Teen Kills Four People, Seriously Injures Others, In DUI Case . . . Given Probation and No Jail Time”

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  4. Well stated, Donald (post 12/17/2013). Wealth does not buy true class. It’s too bad the parents didn’t use their money to help raise the boy into a responsible young man with ambition and exciting goals. With no direction, a rich boy like Ethan Couch only has the superficial hope that money can buy: cars/trucks, women, houses, “toys”, alcohol, drugs etc. The appearance of success is there, but it’s only an illusion. He would likely become an even more destructive or sociopathic human being…or a very lonely sad one.

    Hopefully, the therapy/rehabilitation and eventual emancipation from his parents will allow him to learn and grow into a person with a decent future who does not reoffend. If Ethan Couch does end up taking the positive route, he’ll need to forgive himself for his youthful deadly stupidity, make “amends” best he can, and to acknowledge that his parents are not to be mirrored should he ever become a parent. Hopefully, Ethan Couch is, or will become, truly remorseful and will make amends.

    At 16, “the world is your oyster”, as the saying goes. Especially where money brings potential opportunities. With wealthy parents, Ethan Couch should be going to the best schools that encourage his talents…instead of killing four people, paralyzing and damaging many others (9?)! What a waste…an expensive throw-away kid. Let’s hope he can be “recycled” into somebody positive, worth more than his trust fund or inheritance; he’s young enough to potentially rehabilitate. *fingers crossed*

    MOST importantly, I hope all the survivors are doing better physically and emotionally. My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones. It’s so unfair what happened to all of them and I can understand their shock, deep grief, anger, and disappointment in this case. It just takes ONE ignorant, irresponsible person to get behind the wheel and damage so many people’s lives. Like it’s been said in Spiderman (film & comic), “With great power comes great responsibility.” Sometimes “great” power is simply knowing when to stop drinking or to not drive at all.

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  8. Young white males are the worst drivers and cause the most accidents. They’ll run into a tree with nobody there. Fact. Google it. So they say he killed these people becuase his family has money and lets him do whatever he wants with no punishment. And the law agreed and did the same thing. The same thing that caused the problem in the first place. Great law system you all got set up. Certain groups of people have no common sense. Been saying this for years and the same people keep proving me right. EVERYtime.

  9. True sociopaths aren’t made by circumstances, they are born. Unfortunately, treatment and even jail time won’t cure them. They lack empathy and a conscience (a moral compass) and, in my opinion, need lifelong monitoring in order to keep society safe from further bad acts.

  10. Lee,

    That would be great in a perfect world, but these are lesser included offenses and he would have an appeal ripe because he has already been sentenced on the greater offense that occurred at the same time….. This is a smoke screen deflecting his error on the judge and very dysfunctional family…… I wish it could be different….

  11. I only hope next time when he gets drunk and decides to drive, he crashes into a tree or something and kills himself. Or even better, crashes into his own home, killing his parents and Judge Boyd, who will be enjoying a fine dinner with the family.

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