Ethan Couch is Headed to Rehab. Prosecutors Hope Case "Highlights the Dangers" of DWI.

Categories: Crime

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Ethan Couch, the 16-year-old from Keller who drunkenly ran over four pedestrians, then got probation after pleading affluenza, was back in court yesterday to learn the conditions of his sentence.

Reporters were barred from the courtroom by District Judge Jean Boyd, who, according to the Tarrant County DA's office, ordered Couch to spend an undisclosed amount of time at an undisclosed "lock-down residential treatment facility" in an undisclosed location, for which his parents will foot the bill.

For the duration of his 10-year probation, Couch is forbidden from driving, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs. If he violates any of those, or other, conditions, he could be sentenced to prison for up to 10 years.

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

The families of Couch's victims are still mad. Prosecutors, who pushed for Couch to serve prison time, are putting their best spin on a disappointing outcome.

Riley Shaw, chief of the DA's juvenile division, put it like this in a press release: "It is our hope that the attention drawn by this case highlights the dangers associated with driving while intoxicated, and will ensure that a tragedy such as this one will never happen again."

A harsher sentence might have sent a stronger message, but Boyd handed Shaw a lemon. Can't blame the man for trying to make a little lemonade.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.

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19 comments
rocks123
rocks123

the only thing this case illustrates is how there are different justice systems in this country

Deelio
Deelio

I wonder if the rich kid's parents high tail their son out of the country until his probation period lapses. Ain't no way this kid is going to make it to 20 on the clean, straight and narrow. 

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

The line should read "allegedly headed to rehab".  There's no proof that he's really going.

CogitoErgoSum
CogitoErgoSum

They'll have a better chance of keeping Rick Perry from his Aqua Net than preventing this kid from getting his hands on a bottle or joint during these - his prime-time partying years. He'll get at least a few years in the pen.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

A reasonable question that should be asked is how many do overs will he get ?

NewsDog
NewsDog

Has his DL already been suspended? Will DPS have a flag on his DL for the next 10 years? Will a flag show up if he tries to get a DL in another state?

Willing to bet he doesn't make it three years without getting caught for driving or drinking or both.  

WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA
WhyDontYouJoinNAMBLA

Oh great. The latest new urbanist asshole to move downtown and harp about walkability with Myrna, Mike Dunlop and Patrick Kennedy.

JackJett
JackJett

I kept thinking when I first read this that Affluenza was a new drugs those crazy kids were taking these daze. 



kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

First off, he should be thrown in jail for being a douche nozzle.....then there are questions about killing innocent people.....

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

How about rehab for the parents, from whom he contracted affluenza?

Why risk re-infection?

wcvemail
wcvemail

Ten years of no driving, drinking, or drugging? No way. Let's hope that the probation dept. is able to work with a responsible judge when the inevitable probation violation occurs, and that the original, ten-year sentence (at least) is enforced.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@ruddski I'm disappointed you didn't make a crack about how Obama would cure his family of affluenza.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@wcvemail If he stays out of trouble he will be able to petition to have his probation reduced.  Can't remember how much has to be served first, but I bet he gets his probation reduced and the juvenile record sealed. 

wcvemail
wcvemail

@becoolerifyoudid @wcvemail Virtual bet: I say that he doesn't make it to 20 yrs old without probation violation. OTOH, if he does two or three years and doesn't drive or get in other trouble (if pigs had wings, etc.), then his attorneys will have that shot at reducing probation that you describe.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@wcvemail @becoolerifyoudid He will probably need to make it until at least 20 to get the probation reduced.  He should be able to make it at least 3-6 months in the rehab place.  I will take the virtual bet- loser has to listen to that other poster child of affluenza -Justin Bieber -for 10 minutes straight.

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