Remember Ethan Couch? He is the rich spoiled brat who killed four people in a 2013 drunk driving accident. Couch was 16 at the time. Where many teens would likely have had the book thrown at them, particularly in “law and order” Texas, where the accident occurred, Couch was given a light sentence that required him to spend time at a California drug and alcohol rehab facility, but no jail time. This was thanks, at least in part, to a defense that involved a made up condition known as “affluenza.”
At Couch’s trial, psychologist Gary Miller described how Couch’s parents had poor parenting skills, letting him do anything he wanted to do and get away with everything, facing no consequences. While there was probably a good deal of truth in what Miller told the court, a condition that isn’t even recognized by the American Psychiatric Association shouldn’t have been a reason for the legal system reinforcing Couch’s no consequences lifestyle. But now we’re seeing that what Dr. Miller said about Couch’s parents and their parenting skills appears to have been right on the money.
Police have issued a warrant for Ethan Couch’s arrest, after he has gone missing. Also missing? His mother.
Couch is on probation, and according to NBCDFW, his juvenile probation officer has been unable to contact him or his mother for several days. Tarrant County, Texas Sheriff Dee Anderson said that when officers from juvenile services went to his mother’s house to speak with Couch, it was clear that no one was there. A “directive to apprehend,” the juvenile version of an arrest warrant, was issued for Couch.
Sheriff Anderson fears that Couch and his mother are long gone. He told NBCDFW:
If he’s here, if he’s somewhere in this part of the world, we’ll find him. But I’ve got a bad feeling that he’s gone and I don’t think he’s gone a short distance.
Anderson has made finding Couch his top priority. He also said that he knew the criminal justice system wasn’t finished with Ethan Couch. “I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so,” Anderson said. “I said, we’re going to see him again. He’s going to be back in this system.”
The “affluenza” defense was certainly not appropriate to use in a criminal trial, but if Couch has been spirited away by his mother, as it appears, Dr. Miller’s description of Couch’s parents and their “no consequences” attitude certainly seems to be right on the mark.
Here’s a report on Ethan Couch’s disappearance, via NBCDFW:
Featured image via StarPulse