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Ethan Couch
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    (April 11, 1997- )
    Born in Tarrant County, Texas
    Killed four people and injured nine when he collided with a disabled SUV while driving while intoxicated (June 15, 2013)
    Indicted on four counts of manslaughter
    Sentenced to ten years probation and sent to an inpatient rehab facility
    Sentenced to two years in prison for violating parole (April 13, 2016)
    Released from prison (April 2, 2018)
    He was busted for underage possession of alcohol after being caught in a pickup truck with a naked, passed out 14-year-old girl (2012).
    An hour before the crash, he stole two cases of beer from a Wal-Mart.
    At the time of the crash, he was driving 70 mph in a 40 mph zone.
    When he was tested three hours after the fatal accident, his blood alcohol level was still three times the legal limit.
    At his trial, a psychiatrist hired by the defense testified that Couch's behavior was a result of 'affluenza' -- he was unable to understand that his actions had consequences because of his parents teaching him that buys privilege.
    More than a few observers noted that the lenient sentence would only reinforce the message that wealth will let you avoid the negative consequences of your behavior.
    He was filmed at a party, apparently playing beer pong, which would have been a violation of a 'no alcohol consumption' condition of his probation (2015).
    He and his mother fled the country, eventually getting arrested in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (December 28, 2015).
    Although it hardly excuses plowing into a dozen people while drunk, his parents really were lousy role models; for example, when his father Fred was busted for DUI, he told the arresting officer, 'I make more in a day than you make in a year.'
    The leniency of his sentence may have had more to do with his being tried in juvenile court -- which tends to emphasize rehabilitation over retribution -- than his defense psychiatrist's cockamamie theories.
    Initial reports that he would be sent to Newport Academy -- an upscale rehab facility featuring horseback riding, massage and interpretive dance therapy -- proved untrue.
    The Tarrant County sheriff said he was well-behaved as a prisoner, commenting, 'I do believe Ethan Couch is not same person he was when he came to jail. The time he's spent, it's a rude awakening.'
    As conditions of his release from jail, he has to wear an ankle monitor and an alcohol detection patch, follow a 9 PM curfew, submit to drug testing, and have a video-equipped interlock ignition device installed in his car.

Credit: C. Fishel

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