Breanna Mitchell, 24, dead, thanks to Ethan Couch.
Brian Jennings, dead, thanks to Ethan Couch.
Hollie Boyles, mother of Shelby Boyles, dead, thanks to Ethan Couch.
Shelby Boyles, 21, dead, thanks to Ethan Couch.
Ethan Couch, 16, illegally using a restricted license, was driving 70 mph in a 40 mph zone on a Texas road. His blood alcohol level was .24 which was three times the legal limit of an adult. He also had marijuana and Valium in his system. Did I fail to mention he and some of the passengers in his truck had stolen two or three cases of beer, reports aren’t clear on the number of cases, from Walmart, based on their surveillance video?
Ethan Couch hit Breanna Mitchell’s SUV on the side of the road that was there because of a flat tire. Then Ethan’s father’s F350 truck hit Brian Jennings vehicle, who had stopped to assist Breanna. Somewhere in all this gory mess Ethan Couch hit both Hollie and Shelby Boyles, who had come from a house close by to help in whatever manner they could. Couch’s truck then turned over and hit a tree. The seven who were in his truck, both cab and bed of the truck, were in an assorted condition, with two of them seriously injured.
Ethan Couch picked himself up, and I assume, dusted himself off, and called 911 to send someone to attend to the aftermath he had created.
In December, 2013, Juvenile Court sentenced Ethan Couch to 10 years’ probation for intoxication manslaughter. Not one day in jail, just 10 years’ probation.
Wonder if the judge took into account Ethan had illegally driven himself to school at the age of 13? Or that he was illegally drinking at the age of 15 in a parked vehicle that just happened to have a naked 14 year-old girl who had passed out in the truck with him?
The prosecutors asked for Ethan Couch to serve 20 years in the penitentiary. Wonder if the judge thought they were acting childish because they were in juvenile court?
A psychologist defense witness in court said, in essence, Ethan had been so rich all his life, he didn’t realize the consequences the common man faced for the consequences of his actions. That spawned the term “Affluenza” as being too rich.
Ethan and his mother fled to Mexico in 2015 because someone had posted to social media that he had been having a drinking party, which was a violation of his parole. They were captured and returned to the U. S., she in late December, 2015, and he in early 2016 after fighting extradition.
An adult court sentenced him to almost two years in prison. The disposition of his mother’s case which is a felony for hindering apprehension of a felon, her son, is still pending. She did bail out of jail.
All of this info thanks to Wikipedia. There is much more on Wikipedia if you care to read it.
I want to delve into other aspects of this case.
Ethan Couch was in direct violation of his parole by drinking. He was in direct violation of his parole by fleeing the country. Why does his ten years of probation not become ten years of jail time in an adult prison?
His parents are not exactly model citizens. In 2014 his father was arrested for impersonating a police officer with a fake badge. In 2013 his mother was fined $500 for forcing another motorist off the road. There are other interesting activities of the two if you care to read about them elsewhere. Class acts, wouldn’t you say?
Fred Couch, Ethan’s father, has a sheet metal company that deals in metal roofing. I assume that provides his more than comfortable livelihood. Why do people still deal with him and his company? To me they are condoning all of this, including the deaths of the four people on the night of 6/15/13. The blood of those killed is on the hands of the people who do business with Fred Couch. And don’t tell me this is the way they do it in Texas, which is a bunch of BS.
Several lawsuits were filed, and, I believe, all of them have now been settled. The truck Ethan Couch was driving that night seemed to have been officially a truck that belonged to the sheet metal company owned by his father, which I’m sure carried a considerable amount of liability insurance for the business. The insurance company would have paid to the maximum limit, and if that did not cover the settlement of all the lawsuits, then Fred would have had to pay the difference.
Why would all of these people who represented the estates of those dead, and perhaps guardians of those injured, why would they settle? Medical bills, that’s why. If there are ongoing medical bills for anyone injured that night, they might not be able to wait for the case to wind through the courts, because the medical facility where treatment was obtained, can’t wait that long for their money.
In the case of those killed that night, if they were transported to the trauma unit of a hospital emergency room that night with still a breath of life, the bills for that one night could have been staggering to an ordinary individual, possibly ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 or higher.
One of the boys I coached in baseball became a Level One Trauma Physician. He would, no doubt in my mind, had he been there, done everything in his power to save each and every one of them. He would have been separated from the astronomical costs associated with his work, but his soul would have only rested with his very best effort.
Were there any medical bills for emergency treatment that night before any of the four died, they would have had to be paid in a reasonable fashion, again not in tune with a long drawn-out court proceeding. The money the estates received in settlement was probably much less than had they gone to court, but circumstances dictated what they would have had to do.
Do the lawyers who defended Ethan Couch in juvenile court, and walked away with 10 years’ probation for him, feel good about their efforts? It would be ironic if one of their kin was killed by a drunken driver, wouldn’t it? Or better yet that one of these lawyers was killed by a drunken driver? The remaining lawyers in the case might have a cause to pause in their thoughts.
Breanna Mitchell, dead, thanks to Ethan Couch.
Brian Jennings, dead, thanks to Ethan Couch.
Hollie Boyles, dead, thanks to Ethan Couch.
Shelby Boyles, dead, thanks to Ethan Couch.
The court called it intoxication manslaughter. I call it MURDER. And Ethan Couch essentially got away with it.
What’s next for the Couch family, Fred, Tonya, and Ethan, Family of the Year?