Prosecutors Haven't Given Up on Sending "Affluenza" Teen Ethan Couch to Prison

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Earlier this week, Tarrant County prosecutors were busy lamenting that they are unable to appeal the sentence handed down to 16-year-old Ethan Couch, who got 10 years' probation and a stint in rehab for drunkenly running over four people in June.

Under state law, only the defendant in juvenile cases can appeal a sentence, meaning prosecutors, however much they wanted to put Couch behind bars for the maximum 20 years, were out of luck.

So it seemed on Monday. By Tuesday, District Attorney Joe Shannon had concocted a new strategy for getting Couch locked up. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he is asking District Judge Jean Boyd to toughen her sentence based on two counts of intoxication assault that are still pending before the court.

See also: Keller Teen Gets Probation for Drunken Wreck that Killed 4, Pissing Off Just About Everyone

"During his recent trial, the 16-year-old admitted his guilt in four cases of intoxication manslaughter and two cases of intoxication assault," Shannon told the paper in an email. "There has been no verdict formally entered in the two intoxication assault cases. Every case deserves a verdict."

The intoxication assault charges stem from injuries suffered by two of the teenagers who were riding in the bed of Couch's pickup when, drunk on beer stolen from Walmart and going 40 miles over the speed limit, he veered off Burleson-Retta Road and plowed into a group of Good Samaritans changing a flat tire.

One of the teens, Sergio Molina, suffered a serious brain injury that's left him paralyzed and able to communicate only by blinking. The other, Solimon Mohmand, suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries.

See also: For Those Who Drink, Drive and Kill, "Affluenza" Outcome Isn't Uncommon, Especially If They Have Money

Shannon's request is a long shot. It seems unlikely that Boyd, having decided that Couch shouldn't go to prison for killing four people, would change her mind over the injury of two. There are other hurdles as well, like probable claims of double jeopardy if Boyd changes her mind, and the principle that courts should be immune to public opinion.

But it never hurts to ask. Besides, it's a way for Shannon to prove to irate voters that he's trying to do something.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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19 comments
the_lion1960
the_lion1960

Why isn't he in Prison, because he is White and RICH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Seriously THAT IS THE REASON!


The Legal REASON!


SADLY IT CANNOT BE APPEALED!


The Judge needs to be taken and entered into the Texas Penal system as an inmate!

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Since he committed many crimes besides the one he was tried for, this seems like a pretty obvious strategy.


ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

No contributory negligence for the spawners? And theft charge for the beer? Though the idea that human life is worth so little compared to beer ought to tell us something about the riight to lifers here.

Someone please tell us what church the family attends. Would be enlightening.

Greg820
Greg820

So this kid was left in a 4000sqft unfurnished house alone for days, weeks and months at a time.  What about some child endangerment charges for his "parents?"

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

any sort of precedence for trying him on another count of manslaughter for the boy who is all but dead in a hospital bed, unable to function except for blinking?

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

"drunk on beer stolen from Walmart"  Can't they just prosecute him for basic theft, even city of county lockup would be a good experience for him and his family

Voot
Voot

This sets an interesting precedent: judicial review by social media. Can anyone get this deal?

ruddski
ruddski

In lockup, his affluenza will become assfluenza.

kayo
kayo

The last sentence says it all.  Like most DAs Shannon is no doubt politically ambitious, and knows that a more substantial punishment for this unpopular Richie Rich scumbag will be a feather in his cap.  I hate to root for a DA, but in this case it's hard not to.    

ruddski
ruddski

Are parents dems or repubs, that's the burning question.

If they're repubs, I suspect we'd know that by now.

shawnmiars
shawnmiars

There would be a long shot based on if the following were to happen

1. One of the assault charges (related to person in hospital) were to not get a verdict rendered. 

2. The person in question dies and sufficient medical evidence proving he died as a result of injuries that happened with the crash. If he should develop an infection for instance (MRSE, STAFF) while hospitalized this would not suffice as these could easily be pointed to as a fault of the facility or medical professionals

3. The case for assault would be retried in front of a different judge. 


So while there is precedent there is not actual chance of it. Sadly. I don't know who is sicker. The parents or the judge. 

ruddski
ruddski

Yeah, back in the Rodney King era, it was judicial review by mob violence.

vashaliv
vashaliv

haha that might hurt the little white boy those first few sessions lol

vashaliv
vashaliv

100.00 bills dont provide much rear end protection I bet lol

ruddski
ruddski

Betya he's lunchmeat by this time next year, and as luck would have it, mummy and daddy forgot to instill in him any notion of physical self-defense. Pity, that.

The one defense of this kid I will make is that he's not the one responsible for the sentence.

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