SPOILED rich kid Ethan Couch, who killed four people and injured nine in a horrific car crash late last spring, is a bratty party monster who threw wild, booze-fueled bashes at his own pad in suburban Fort Worth, Texas – even though he’s just 16!
Couch reportedly boasted that his filthy-rich father Fred had given him a sprawling ranch house where he was allowed to live alone. Pals say the out-of-control teen spent his days playing video games and his nights throwing vodka and beer-soaked parties.
It was after one such bash on June 15 that the heavily inebriated kid took off in an enormous Ford F-350 pickup truck owned by his dad’s multimillion-dollar sheet metal company. Going 70 mph in a 40 mph zone, Couch plowed into several people and cars parked alongside the roadway. Despite the carnage he’d caused, Couch was said to be belligerent and uncooperative at the scene and reportedly huffed: “I’m outta here,” before walking away.
Prosecutors called for Couch – who had a blood-alcohol content three times the legal limit for adults in Texas – to spend 20 years in prison. And a firestorm of protest erupted when he got away with a slap on the wrist. Now it looks as if his “punishment” will be little more than in-patient treatment at a posh $450,000-a-year rehab center in tony Newport Beach, Calif., which offers gourmet meals, yoga, mixed martial arts and “equine-assisted” therapy!
“It sounds more like a nice vacation than an actual sentence,” former Denver Chief Deputy District Attorney Craig Silverman told The ENQUIRER. Incredibly, Couch may have gotten off easy simply because he’s been so spoiled! A psychologist hired by his defense team argued to the court that Couch was a victim of “affluenza,” a psychological condition caused by his wealthy parents. Because they enabled him to do whatever he wanted, the theory goes that he never learned there were consequences for his bad behavior. And despite the fact that Couch already had a history of alcohol-related offenses before the crash, Texas State District judge Jean Boyd sentenced him to just the therapy and 10 years’ probation.
Needless to say, the families of his victims were outraged by the Dec. 10 sentence.
Eric Boyles, who lost his wife Hollie, 52, and daughter Shelby, 21, told a reporter: “Ultimately today, I felt that money did prevail.”
And Marla Mitchell, whose daughter Breanna, 24, was among those killed, said about Couch: “He has not escaped judgment. That is in the hands of a higher power.”
Youth minister Brian Jennings also lost his life in the accident.
Meanwhile, former DA Silverman called the sentencing a “travesty of justice” and a “mockery of the criminal justice system.”
“It’s a slap in the face to memories of those who were killed, not to mention those who are still alive but grievously injured,” Silverman continued. “His family may be rich, but that’s not an excuse. It diminishes the value of human life for him to spend zero time behind bars.”