Affluenza Teen Released on Manslaughter Charges For Being Too Rich Will Cost Taxpayers Tens of Thousands
Ethan Couch, the teenager set free on manslaughter charges because a psychiatrist described him as having “affluenza,” has been ordered to attend a mental care clinic to receive treatment – at a cost of $21,000 per month to taxpayers.
Couch, who turned 17 years old last week, had been arrested for killing four people while drunk driving. According to authorities, he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.24, three times the legal limit, and was driving approximately 70 miles per hour when he crashed into a group of people helping a woman repair her car.
Couch comes from a wealthy family and his well-paid defense attorneys argued that Couch had a problem and needed treatment rather than jail time despite facing manslaughter charges. They even brought in a psychologist who described him as having “affluenza,” described as “a sense of irresponsibility brought about by being coddled by his wealthy parents.”
If getting off after killing four people isn’t going to reinforce that idea, what will?
On Friday, a court ordered Couch to stay at a mental health facility in Texas at the cost of $21,000 per month. Under a deal made with the court, Couch’s parents only have to pay $1,170 per month, leaving Texas taxpayers to pick up the tab for a child apparently so rich that he can get off after killing four people. This especially doesn’t make sense since the parents offered to pay $35,000 per month for Couch to stay at a mental health facility in California.
Outside of the treatment, the court sentenced Couch to 10 years of probation after he pleaded guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter.