Rich Kid Gets Away With Drinking, Driving, And Killing Four – Thanks To ‘Affluenza’ Defense (VIDEO)

Ethan Couch drives drunk, kills 4, gets off with 'affluenza' defense.

Ethan Couch, the Texas teen who killed four people in a drunk driving accident, was given 10 years’ probation. His attorneys say he suffers from ‘affluenza.’

In yet another glaring example of how the American justice system treats the rich differently from the rest of us, 16-year-old Ethan Couch, who killed four people in a drunk driving accident last June, will not go to jail.

Couch admitted that he was the driver in an accident that Dallas CBS affiliate KTVT called “gruesome.” The accident occurred after Breanna Mitchell lost control of her SUV and wound up in a ditch. Brian Jennings, a youth pastor at a local church, stopped to help Mitchell. So did Hollie Boyles and her daughter Shelby Boyles. All four were struck and killed by a pickup truck driven by Ethan Couch.

Couch and his seven passengers had stolen beer from a Walmart earlier in the day. They drank the beer, then got back into Couch’s truck to go in search of more alcohol. That is when the accident occurred. Court records show his blood alcohol at the time of the crash was .24,which is three times the legal limit for adults in Texas.

Ethan Couch’s attorneys blame the accident on his parents.

In what Madison Grey, writing at Time.com, calls the “affluenza defense,” Ethan Couch’s attorneys argued that his parents “pretty much let him get away with everything.” Psychologist Gary Miller told the court, “He never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way. He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no young man would be able to handle.” Miller said that thanks to “affluenza,” Couch and his family believe wealth buys privilege, and there is no link between behavior and consequences.

Texas law for an offense such as this calls for between two and 20 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. Couch received 10 years’ probation. It appears that Dr. Miller’s assessment about wealth may be right.

Eric Boyles, whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash, said the decision was all about money. “Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail,” Boyles said. “If [he] had been any other youth, I feel like the circumstances would have been different.”

Ethan Couch — Spoiled little rich kid.

Dr. Miller painted a picture of a family whose child rearing skills are obviously lacking. Ethan Couch was allowed to drive at 13. He received a ticket from police, and no punishment at home, after he was found in a vehicle at age 15, with a passed out, undressed 14 year old girl beside him. Miller says that Ethan Couch will need years of therapy. He believes that with one or two years’ worth of treatment, and no contact with his parents, Couch’s life can be turned around. Defense attorneys asked that Couch be sent to a home in California that offers “intense, one on one therapy.” If approved, that treatment will cost $450,000, to be paid by Couch’s father.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there is no recognized diagnosis called “affluenza.”

Here’s video of the story, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: