Parents of Affluenza Teen Who Killed Four Driving Drunk Pay A Fraction of His Rehab Costs

Stop Affluenza (Bethesda, MD)

Stop Affluenza (Bethesda, MD) (Photo credit: takomabibelot)

Adding Insult to Injury: Evil Richie Rich’s parents are paying a pittance for a slap on the wrist court appointed treatment.

via Star-Telegram

The parents of a teen who was sentenced to 10 years probation for driving drunk and causing a wreck that killed four people were ordered by the court Friday to pay $1,170 a month for his rehab treatment — far less than the actual cost of his treatment.

Ethan Couch, who turned 17 Friday, is being treated at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, a state-owned in-patient mental health facility. His treatment began there Feb. 19.

The actual cost of his treatment is $715 per day, according to testimony on Friday.

State District Judge Jean Boyd had previously ordered that Couch’s parents, Fred and Tonya Couch, pay for his therapy. The hearing Friday morning, similar to a child support hearing, was necessary to formally set the amount that the couple must pay.

Debbie Spoonts, placement supervisor for Tarrant County Juvenile Services, testified that the state-run facility evaluated the couple and, based on a sliding scale, determined the amount that they should pay.

“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.

Among those present at Friday’s hearing were Kevin and Alesia McConnell, whose 13-year-old son was among the injured in the crash, and Greg Coontz, the civil attorney for relatives of one of the four killed in the wreck, Brian Jennings.

When asked what he thought about the amount the Couch family was ordered to pay, Coontz told reporters that it was his understanding that it is the maximum amount on the facility’s sliding scale.

“As a taxpayer, I probably feel exactly like you do,” Coontz said. “It seems like maybe that ought to be a little different and should be addressed if there’s the ability to pay. Most time, I don’t know that there is. Clearly, sometimes that ability is there.”



  • Anarchy Pony

    This is why america is doomed.

  • LovelyLady666

    So, if his defense is that his parents raised him to be a terrible monster, why can’t the victims sue under this decision and place the parents in jail? (not that I think his parents are responsible, i’m only following the insane logic). If this happened to my family, I’d march right down and refile against the parents.

    • Oginikwe

      Most of the families have settled out of court: one family wants their day in court and won’t settle. I would like to see an jury-awarded settlement that is high enough to strip them entirely of their wealth–so much so that they will learn what it is like to use SNAP benefits.

      • LovelyLady666

        good for them, all or nothing!

  • DrDavidKelly

    Oh no reduced health care costs! It’s a travesty!

  • Rhoid Rager

    But being rich certainly seems to be (the cure-all).

  • Fusionism

    That’s some fucked up shit right there

  • Anarchy Pony

    Stop the world please, I’d like to get off…

    One has to wonder how far it is from here to “Ow, my balls!”

    • Crimson

      Not far at all!


    So you think 10 yrs probation and only paying a fraction of your treatment costs is draconian? Did you kill a man’s wife and daughter along with 2 others and paralyze one of your friends during any of your 3 dui’s? Not sure how this is in anyway related to the war on drugs.

  • VaudeVillain

    You’re right, we should be willing to offer him the same level of mercy and compassion we would extend to a less fortunate person in his situation, and not hate him merely for being rich.

    My understanding is that, in Texas, a poor person who did the same thing could be given the death penalty, and at the very least would spend a massive portion of their natural life behind bars.

    It seems to me like he got more than enough compassion the first go around.

  • VaudeVillain

    When did everyone become ADHD enough for shit like this to make sense? I can’t even follow what the hell is happening with the camera jumping around like that… how many entirely unrelated things are they trying to show me all at once?

    • Crimson

      It really does feel more and more like we’re loving in some dystopian scifi novel. The empire is clearly crumbling and the efforts to distract the masses have hit such an extreme that shit like this somehow passes for entertainment?! People actually want to watch this, want to be on this?
      Hard not to feel like things are going to get a whole lot worse before they can ever get better..and hard to feel compassion for the morons who lap this shit up and all the other shit flung in their direction. even harder is to garner the strength and the perseverance to try to make a difference in this fucked up world. But try we must…

    • kowalityjesus

      It’s just tasteless. These things have always happened, but they are quickly forgotten, as this will as well. Time is our friend…art is long, life is short.

  • kowalityjesus

    privatizing success, publicizing failure

  • Number1Framer

    I’m still waiting for a protective consortium of militias wielding ARs and misspelled signs to form around the home of these patriotic freedom-loving job creators.

  • Number1Framer

    Yeah…I like money…