Texas teenager Ethan Couch got drunk, got high, got behind the wheel, and killed four people. He avoided jail time because his parents were "too rich," and he didn't understand responsibility. Instead, his parents just had to pay for rehab. And now they won't even do that, for the most part.
Couch's lawyers had successfully defended him by arguing that he suffered from "affluenza," a mental condition that is not, weirdly enough, in the DSM-5. In short, he had never known responsibility in his life, and thus was not responsible for the deaths of four people and the serious injury of two others, despite plowing into them with his father's Ford F-350 with THC, valium, and muscle relaxants in his system.
Oh, and he also had a blood alcohol content of .24, or three times the legal limit. Or, rather it would be three times the legal limit, but at 17 he wasn't old enough to be drinking anything at all.
In short, an idiot, with the blood of six people on his hands.
Couch was sentenced to probation and rehab, instead of prison. Part of the terms of that deal was that his parents would pay for that rehab.
It turns out that under Texas state law, the state subsidizes rehab, and convicted criminals pay on a sliding scale. The maximum that they could pay, under that system, is just $1,170 a month, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
"The family respects the decision of the facility and of the court and will honor the payment system that the court has put in place," Lance Evans, the attorney for Couch's parents, said after the hearing.
I bet they do.
The rehab Couch is staying at really costs $715 a day. As he's been in treatment since February 19th, the total cost of his treatment will be $42,900 next week. Couch's parents will have paid $2,340, or just a little over 5% of the total cost.
So remember, folks:
If you are rich enough, you will never have to go to jail. Your parents will pay for you to go to rehab instead, unless they won't actually have to pay much at all.
Ethan Couch, on his part, still hasn't apologized to his victims. He is too emotionally stunted, his lawyer told CNN.
Image credit AP