"I'm Ethan Couch, I'll Get You Out Of This"

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
i m ethan couch i ll get you out of this

When sixteen-year-old Ethan Couch killed four people and paralyzed another, the Best&Brightest here at TTAC expressed an almost universally negative view of his actions and the “Affluenza” defense that enabled him to avoid prison in favor of a $450,000 rehabilitation vacation.

Any defenders Mr. Couch did have, however, will likely reconsider their position on the matter given the latest news from the incident.

As the family of Sergio Molina, the teen who was paralyzed in the accident, sues the Couch family for $20 million, more details from the night have surfaced. The first allegation, which has appeared in multiple reports, is that Ethan was apprehended approximately a quarter-mile from the crash, fleeing on foot. Another report states that Ethan said, “I’m Ethan Couch, I’ll get you out of this” to one of the passengers at the scene.

Given that the criminal court’s ruling on the crash amounts to a state-endorsed label of parental misconduct, the civil attorneys for everyone involved have to be salivating. Still, according to at least one attorney, the “affluenza” verdict might not help the civil cases at all. A few notes on the psychology of “affluenza”, along with some first-class frothing-at-the-mouth, can be found at Daily Kos.

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  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Dec 16, 2013

    In Texas, as in many parts of the US (e.g. Los Angeles and O.J.), when someone with money commits a serious felony, it becomes feast time for the criminal justice system. First, you have an expensive criminal trial with (often) a bribe to the judge. With dope law violations, this is usually the end of it. When death(s) are involved, wrongful death suits sweeten the pot. In murder cases, the doers usually end up in jail (OJ) or murdered themselves (unless they have really serious money). I personally know of two cases where a murderer was bled dry and then murdered. No effort was ever made to find the killers. One celebrated case a few decades back involved a Houston woman named Candice Mossler who, along with her boyfriend, murdered her aged husband more or less on impulse and left a blood spattered house. When they sobered up, Candice had the presence of mind to call the preeminent Houston defense attorney of the time, Richard (Racehorse) Haynes, for advice as to what to do next. The subject of legal fees came up. Racehorse replied "half" - this according to Racehorse himself in later years. In this case, at least the surviving families of the victims of what appears to have been a seriously negligent accident will get some blood money. Some of the toilers in our low-paid criminal justice system will get an unexpected payday. The kid and his despicable father should get, more or less, what they respectively deserve.

  • Wsn Wsn on Dec 16, 2013

    If affluenza got him out of the criminal trial, shouldn't that same logic apply to the civil case? I mean, just fine the family for the full $20M. They are affluent, after all.

    • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Dec 17, 2013

      Two obvious problems with a fine: 1. no law would justify such a huge fine 2. more important, who would get the $20 million? As far as an 'affluenza' defense to a civil wrongful death suit, the standards of proof for wrongful death are much looser than for manslaughter. Furthermore, the kid was actually convicted of manslaughter, he just didn't get a normal punishment. If the kid's family ends up with even half of what they stated with, I will be surprised. The whole thing looks like a fish feeding frenzy set up to me.

  • 22_RE_Speedwagon 22_RE_Speedwagon on Dec 16, 2013

    why are we less upset about this? http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Manslaughter-charge-in-S-F-crash-that-killed-boy-5068931.php 70 mph on a residential street at 7 a.m. 58 year old woman, stone cold sober.

  • Bill mcgee Bill mcgee on Dec 18, 2013

    Saw an example of the excellence of the Texas judicial system in the Houston Chronicle yesterday . A woman was sentenced to 70 years in prison for stealing Christmas lights . Admittedly she had some priors but still- 70 years for stealing Christmas lights ?