Ethan Couch: ’20/20′ Highlights Affluenza DUI Tragedy Of Spoiled Rich Kid In Tonight’s ABC Episode
Ethan Couch, the drunk Texas teen who got off after killing four people due to affluenza, will have his case highlighted tonight on the next episode of ABC 20/20. Inquisitr reported on last week’s 20/20 story about the Jenelle Potter Facebook murder case. This latest ABC 20/20 case will go behind the scenes of a terrible DUI tragedy that left Breanna Mitchell, Brian Jennings, Shelby Boyles, and Hollie Boyles dead. The TV show will also take a look at the community’s outrage over the lack of punishment for Ethan Couch.
According to WFAA, here is how the case unfolded. On a Saturday night in 2013, 16-year-old Ethan Couch walked into a Walmart store, stole alcohol, and then packed seven other people inside his father’s truck. About an hour later, he struck 24-year-old Breanna Mitchell, who was waiting along Burleson Retta Road in Fort Worth after her tire blew out. Before the accident, Breanna Mitchell called her mother and told her to come. In a flash, her mother, Marla Mitchell, left home to pick up her daughter. The next thing she heard was Breanna’s voice telling her that she loved her and to “please hurry.” When her mother got to the scene, she found her daughter dead on the ground. The three others who had arrived to help Breanna were also dead.
Over the next several months, the rural community was left stunned by the terrible tragedy. But their feelings turned from stunned to outrage when it came to light that the person responsible was a 16-year-old drunk teen who later received a slap on the wrist, after the judge sentenced the spoiled rich kid to just 10 short years of probation. It turns out that Ethan Couch’s defense attorneys used the affluenza defense in court to get him off — and it actually worked. The affluenza defense purports that rich kids are so privileged that they have no ability to know right from wrong. And for that lack of knowledge, they should not be held accountable for their irresponsible actions. This is limited to cases where the child was born into wealth.
The affluenza case angered people across the nation who say that Ethan Couch should have been held liable for his actions. And that at the very least, he should have served 10 hard years in prison. Others were disappointed by the outcome because they say there are plenty of good rich kids who know right from wrong and who act responsibly. There are also many wealthy parents who believe in punishing their children for misbehavior.
This judge failed to do all of the above. While insisting that a wrongdoer undergo rehab is good in most cases, there are some cases so heinous and so gruesome that a punishment element should be added. There was no real punishment for Ethan Couch, who was later carted off to an extravagant resort-like rehab in California, where he could meditate while looking out at the ocean. Meanwhile, the family members of Ethan’s dead victims had to try to cope with the loss.
By all accounts, Breanna Mitchell was a young woman with a good head on her shoulders. The aspiring professional caterer was doing everything right and knew what she wanted out of life. The Boyles and Jennings families were also exemplary people who loved giving back to the community.
According to ABC News, Eric Boyles’ heart sank when he got to the scene and saw the wreckage and body parts strewn about. He had not expected to find his own wife and daughter at the scene.
“Once I found Hollie and, and I knew that… she was gone. Then it was a matter of ‘OK, so where is Shelby?’
Since the tragedy, Ethan Couch and his parents have been inundated with lawsuits from the families of those who lost their lives and from the families of the two other survivors who were riding as passengers in Couch’s truck that fateful night. For more updates in the case, you will want to watch tonight’s ABC 20/20 at 10/9 central. For more interesting articles, check out Inquisitr‘s coverage of O.J. Simpson and Pope Francis.
ABC 20/20 trailer for the Ethan Couch affluenza-DUI case
[Photo Credit: YouTube]