Parents of “Affluenza” Teen Who Killed 4 People in Car Crash to Pay Part of State Treatment Costs

Tonya Couch, left, and Fred Couch, parents of teenager Ethan Couch, arrive at juvenile court for a hearing about their son's future Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas.  Photo: LM Otero, STF
Tonya Couch, left, and Fred Couch, parents of teenager Ethan Couch, arrive at juvenile court for a hearing about their son’s future Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Photo: LM Otero, STF

A Texas judge, who was criticized for sentencing a wealthy Texas teen to probation after he killed four people while driving drunk, on Friday ordered his parents to pay a small part of the cost of his treatment at a state-run facility.

Judge Jean Boyd, whose sentence of 10 years probation and no jail time set off a backlash of criticism in December, ordered the youth’s parents to pay about $1,100 a month.

The state facility he has been sent to costs $715 a day. His parents had offered to pay for private treatment at a private out-of-state facility.

The case set off an emotional debate after a psychologist for the teenager testified that his family’s wealth had impaired the teenager’s ability to take responsibility for his actions, saying he suffered from “affluenza.”

The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize “affluenza” as a diagnosis.

Prosecutors had asked the court to send the teenager to a youth detention center as punishment.

Prosecutors said the then 16-year-old had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit for an adult when he killed the driver of a car that had broken down by the side of the road and three people who had gone to help the stranded motorist.

Four other people were injured, two seriously, in the crash near Fort Worth in June 2013.

(Editing by David Bailey and Ken Wills)

SOURCE:  MARICE RICHTER 
Reuters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s