Manhunt for Texas affluenza teen after he apparently goes missing

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

FBI And U.S. Marshals Join Search For ‘Affluenza’ Teen.

A manhunt was underway on Thursday for a wealthy Texas teenager, described at trial as being afflicted with “affluenza,” who apparently fled to avoid violating a probation deal that kept him out of prison for killing four in a drunken-driving crash.Tarrant County Sheriffs say Ethan Couch is the top fugitive they are trying to find, and believe that he and his mother have not only skipped town, but possibly the country.

If you haven’t read or talked enough about “affluenza boy” Ethan Couch — and, really, is there an upper end? — the excellent Texas CrimeCast crew has more for your ears.Authorities are investigating whether a Texas teenager who killed four people in a 2013 drink-driving crash – and claimed as part of his defence that he suffered from “affluenza” – has fled with his mother to avoid a potential violation of his probation.

The 18-year-old named by Tarrant County officials as Ethan Couch, and placed on the county’s most wanted list, missed his mandatory meeting with his probation officer, prompting a warrant for his apprehension to be issued on Dec. 11. His lawyer argued Couch didn’t understand consequences because of his parent’s wealth. “If law enforcement can present to the DA’s office, facts that the mother in fact aiding in Ethan Couch violating probation, then there might be a basis for her obstructing justice.” “It would be up to a judge whether or not his probation has been violated. Prosecutors said on Wednesday they’re trying to determine whether Couch, 18, was one of the people drinking at a party in a video posted on social media this month. Dallas Morning News investigative reporter Brooks Egerton also talks about his series on how some dentists have gotten away relatively unscathed despite some deadly results. “Some people call dentistry a cottage industry still in that it’s kind of isolated from the rest of health care in a way that medicine is not,” Egerton says. The judge could find that he violated his probation and terminate his probation and sentence him up to ten years in prison.” (©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc.

A psychologist who testified on the youth’s behalf at his trial claimed his condition of “affluenza” shielded him from responsibility for his actions but is not recognized as a diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association. Sam Jordan, spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, said investigators with Juvenile Services and with the district attorney’s office are searching for the two. When Couch was prosecuted in juvenile court, his lawyers invoked the affluenza defence that claimed his irresponsible lifestyle was due to wealthy parents who coddled him. The county launched an investigation this month after a video was made public that appeared to show the teen among a group at party where beer pong was being played.

The teen, who was 16 at the time of the deadly crash, had a blood-alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit when he was speeding and lost control of his pickup truck. A pick-up driven by Couch in June 2013 was travelling at more than 100km/h along a dark, two-lane road south of Fort Worth when it barrelled into a disabled vehicle and a group of people who had stopped to help the stranded motorist.

In the months after the crash, Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst asked the Senate committee on criminal justice to review how probation sentences are issued in adult and juvenile cases of intoxication manslaughter.

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