That is how many days Ethan Couch served for each of the four people he killed while driving drunk on June 15, 2013. He was speeding at 65 mph when he plowed his father’s Ford F-350 inlớn a group of people on the roadside helping a stranded motorist outside Fort Worth. He was 16 at the time.
Couch, now đôi mươi, was released from Tarrant County jail on Monday after serving two years, or 7trăng tròn days, for a parole violation — not for the deaths of four people.
His release will close a chapter on the story of a teenager turned adult struggling with a bout of “affluenza” that his legal team claimed left hyên ổn unable to lớn tell right from wrong because of his family’s wealth. The case took a bizarre turn in năm ngoái after a video of Couch drinking, a violation of his probation, surfaced online and appeared to trigger an escape to Mexico with his mother.
The incident also prompted a national discussion about how privilege & money appear to bolster legal defenses beyond access to lớn elite lawyers.
Couch’s return to society has angered the advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which has pushed for harsher penalties for drunk drivers who kill others.
“It was devastating khổng lồ so many people” for Couch’s release date to arrive sầu, MADD President Colleen Sheehey-Church told The Washington Post on Monday. “Seven-hundred & trăng tròn days just shows you drunken driving homicides aren’t treated as violent crimes.”
Sheehey-Church, who lost her son in 2004 in a drunken driving incident, blasted Couch’s defense as a child unable khổng lồ grasp his decision-making.
Hollie Boyles, 52, và her daughter Shelby, 21, had come out of their trang chủ to help motorist Breanna Mitchell, 24, after her sport-utility vehicle stalled on that June night in rural Burleson. Brian Jennings, a 41-year-old father of three, was passing by and also decided to help. He parked his truchồng nearby, his two sons waiting for hyên.
Couch, drunk, with traces of Valium in his blood & driving a truchồng filled with seven other teenagers, left the dark two-lane road và crashed inkhổng lồ Mitchell’s vehicle. The collision killed Mitchell, the Boyleses and Jennings before slamming into Jennings’s truông chồng, sending the vehicle inkhổng lồ traffic. Body parts and wreckage were scattered for nearly 300 feet, D Magazine reported.
A responding Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy later said the scene “looked more lượt thích a plane crash than a car wreông chồng.”
Several people were seriously injured, including Sergio Molimãng cầu, who was riding in the baông xã of Couch’s truông chồng và was flung on impact. He is paralyzed & can communicate only through blinking. The involved families sued the Couch family và the family business; the Molimãng cầu family won a $2 million settlement in 2014.
The widely panned “affluenza” defense of Couch surfaced during his trial, where a psychologist said the teenager received whatever he asked for as a child & was constantly rewarded with gifts, wreaking havoc on his ability lớn perceive sầu the consequences of his actions.
“Instead of the Golden Rule, which was ‘vị unto others as you would have them vì unto you,’
The court appears to lớn have agreed with the defense. A judge handed down a sentence of 10 years probation in 2013, and Couch was ordered to lớn remain drug- and alcohol-không tính phí. He was also required to spover time in rehabilitation.
Then in December năm ngoái, Couch was caught drinking in a Clip that appeared on Twitter. He và his mother, Tonya, fled khổng lồ the lavish Mexican resort đô thị of Puerto lớn Vallarta, triggering a manhunt led by U.S. Marshals for his probation violation. Their location was revealed when they ordered a pizza at their condominium. A judge sentenced Couch to lớn two years in prison.
Tonya Couch was booked Wednesday in the same county jail for failing a urine test mandated as a condition for her bond, which was revoked, the Associated Press reported. She awaits trial in connection with hindering the apprehension of a felon và money laundering in connection with the cross-border escape to Mexico with her son. She could not be reached for comment.
A statement provided to lớn The Post by Couch’s attorneys stands in contrast khổng lồ the testimony that Couch struggled to underst& the ramifications of his behavior.
“Ethan has admitted his conduct, accepted responsibility for his actions và felt true remorse for the terrible consequences of those actions,” lawyers Scott Brown và Reagan Wynn said, adding that Couch “does not wish lớn draw attention to himself & requests privacy” as he focuses on his transition baông chồng to lớn society.
Couch’s release has galvanized MĐịa Chỉ advocacy for tougher laws khổng lồ help curb a crime that kills 10,000 people a year, Sheehey-Church said, including a MĐịa chỉ cửa hàng petition that was started in response khổng lồ his completed sentence.
The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors & delivered every morning.
The most important news stories of the day, curated by Post editors and delivered every morning.