Ethan Couch, center, sits in juvenile court for a hearing about his future Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas.
LM Otero/AP

‘Affluenza’ teen will go to rehab, not jail


A Texas teenager who killed four people while driving drunk last year will attend a drug treatment facility instead of serving time behind bars, a judge ordered Wednesday.

Judge Jean Boyd required Ethan Couch to check into a $450,000-rehabilitation center for drug and alcohol treatment in Newport Beach, Calif., the Associated Press reportedCouch was sentenced last year to 10 years of probation after he drove intoxicated, lost control of his vehicle, and crashed into a group of people assisting a woman on the side of a Texas road. He was 16 at the time.

Couch also injured two of his seven passengers. His blood-alcohol levels exceeded the legal limit for an adult, and there were traces of Valium in his system.

MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts, 12/18/13, 2:15 PM ET

'Affluenza' defense a false argument?

Thomas talks with legal analyst Paul Henderson about reports that officials are pushing for jail time for Ethan Couch – the 16-year-old who received no jail time after killing several people while driving drunk – in part because of the innovative …

His case made national headlines after a defense expert said the teenager suffered from “affluenza,” the result of his wealthy parents failing to set limits for him.

Prosecutors had requested that Couch spend 20 years behind bars in state custody.

The judge ordered Couch’s parents pay for his time at the treatment facility, but did not declare a minimum time requirement, according to the report.


'Affluenza' teen will go to rehab, not jail