Promoted

Massive Uproar Over The Teenager Who Won Freedom In A Drunk Driving Case By Arguing He Was Too Wealthy For Prison

Psychologists argued he’s suffering from “affluenza,” a condition that makes you too rich to understand that your actions have consequences.

1. Ethan Couch, a 16-year-old from Texas, was sentenced to 10 years’ probation by a juvenile court on Tuesday.

ABC 8 WFAA

2. On June 15, Couch caused a drunk driving crash that left four people dead: youth pastor Brian Jennings, 41; mother and daughter Hollie, 52, and Shelby Boyles, 21; and 24-year-old Breanna Mitchell.

ABC 8 WFAA

3. Couch was driving seven passengers, four of which were thrown from the vehicle. Two were critically injured, including one who remains paralyzed and can only communicate by blinking his eyes.

ABC 8 WFAA

4. Couch’s defense brought in psychologist Dick Miller, who argued that he suffered from “affluenza”…

5. …a condition caused by the wealth of his parents giving him freedoms no young person would be able to handle:


[Psychologist Dr. G. Dick ] Miller said Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have.” He called Couch a product of “affluenza,” where his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.

He said Couch got whatever he wanted. As an example, Miller said Couch’s parents gave no punishment after police ticketed the then-15-year-old when he was found in a parked pickup with a passed-out and undressed 14-year-old girl.

Miller also pointed out that Couch was allowed to drive at age 13. He said the teen was emotionally flat and needed years of therapy.

6. After it was reported that Couch would receive no jail time, social media exploded, filling with furious updates from users.

These are Ethan Couch's victims. His legal defense for killing them was that he's a spoiled brat. #Affluenza

— Kenny Webster (@ProducerKen)

Kenny Webster

@ProducerKen

These are Ethan Couch’s victims. His legal defense for killing them was that he’s a spoiled brat. #Affluenza

/ Via

Ethan Couch story is fucking ridiculous. He pleaded guilty to drink driving and manslaughter. Being rich isn't a disease! Fuck's sake.

— Alex (@AlexTubaGeek)

Alex

@AlexTubaGeek

Ethan Couch story is fucking ridiculous. He pleaded guilty to drink driving and manslaughter. Being rich isn’t a disease! Fuck’s sake.

/ Via

Ethan Couch's defense is claiming that he can't go to jail because he is too rich and spoiled to know right from wrong..he killed 4 people

— ﺯﻳﻨﺐ ✌ (@Z_Hachem)

ﺯﻳﻨﺐ ✌

@Z_Hachem

Ethan Couch’s defense is claiming that he can’t go to jail because he is too rich and spoiled to know right from wrong..he killed 4 people

/ Via

#justice #Wealthy #Texas# teen gets probation for fatal #DWI after using #affluenza defense http://t.co/96Nimv7yxS

— MichaelLoBurgio (@MikeLoBurgio)

MichaelLoBurgio

@MikeLoBurgio

#justice #Wealthy #Texas# teen gets probation for fatal #DWI after using #affluenza defense http://t.co/96Nimv7yxS

/ Via

Ethan Couch killed more people than Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

— Sean Morrow (@snmrrw)

Sean Morrow

@snmrrw

Ethan Couch killed more people than Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

/ Via

Ethan Couch. I wish I was a 16 year old rich white kid so I could get drunk, crash, kill four people, and only get ten years probation.

— Andres Cruz (@iamn0tillegal)

Andres Cruz

@iamn0tillegal

Ethan Couch. I wish I was a 16 year old rich white kid so I could get drunk, crash, kill four people, and only get ten years probation.

/ Via

Ethan Couch getting off with the "affluenza" defense after killing 4 people is society saying "Ohhhh fuck it, let's just make it official.".

— Nativity In The Face (@Notintheface1)

Nativity In The Face

@Notintheface1

Ethan Couch getting off with the “affluenza” defense after killing 4 people is society saying “Ohhhh fuck it, let’s just make it official.”.

/ Via

#Affluenza

— Nappy Roots (@KuntaKutiKing)

Nappy Roots

@KuntaKutiKing

#Affluenza

/ Via

There is a known and effective cure for #Affluenza. It's called jail.

— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor)

Goldie Taylor

@goldietaylor

There is a known and effective cure for #Affluenza. It’s called jail.

/ Via

Has anyone heard of #poorfluenza? Oh - my bad #Affluenza.

— Don Ward (@donlward)

Don Ward

@donlward

Has anyone heard of #poorfluenza? Oh - my bad #Affluenza.

/ Via

we filthy #poors are immune to #Affluenza. so there's that

— Wet Dentist (@wetdentist)

Wet Dentist

@wetdentist

we filthy #poors are immune to #Affluenza. so there’s that

/ Via

17. Couch’s defense attorneys suggested that he enter a rehabilitation clinic where he can receive treatment for his wealthy upbringing.

#ethancouch #Affluenza

— Claude Garcia (@bbeachbbum04)

Claude Garcia

@bbeachbbum04

#ethancouch #Affluenza

/ Via

Update: The headline has been changed to make clearer that Couch pled guilty. h/t @sladehv)

Check out more articles on BuzzFeed.com!

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

More News

More News

Now Buzzing