The Couch case is an immediate flashpoint for numerous people who feel justice was not served in his case. The now 18-year-old Ethan Couch, a.k.a. the Affluenza kid, received a light sentence for killing four in a drunk-driving collision in 2013. His attorney argued successfully that he was so spoiled and rich that he did not know right from wrong.
Recently, Couch was featured in a video that showed him drinking and playing beer pong, clearly in violation of the conditions of his parole. The video found its way to the police. Additionally, Couch failed to arrive for a parole check-in. The police started looking for him and discovered he had vanished with his mother, Tonya Couch. They were eventually tracked to Puerto Vallarta.
Both son and mother were apprehended and arrested in Mexico. Currently the mother has been returned to the U.S., and Ethan remains in custody in Mexico. He may be sentenced to 10 years in jail for violating his probation. Whether he faces other charges is unclear at this time.
The case upset a number of people from all walks off life given the nature of the egregious behavior that led to the deaths of four people on June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas. At the time, he was driving on a restricted license, was inebriated and speeding. He lost control of his vehicle and ran into a group of people standing by a disabled SUV, subsequently hitting a parked car that was trying to help the people in the SUV.
Nine people were injured in that crash, two passengers in Couch’s truck sustained catastrophic injuries and four died. Couch was charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault. His ten-year probation and treatment in a low security “posh” facility sparked outrage across the nation. Why didn’t he get transferred to adult court and face the full weight of the law?
Indeed, why didn’t he? It is a question that continues to haunt many of those who worked the case, many in the legal community, parents and police officers. Plaintiff’s attorneys cringe when this case is mentioned. It is their sworn duty to find justice for the victims in cases just like this. Was justice served in the Couch case? Clearly, it was not.