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Published On: Sat, Dec 14th, 2013

Dr Dick Miller defends parole for Ethan Couch, teen who killed four in drunk driving crash

Described as a “spoiled teen” in stories, Ethan Couch walked out of juvenile court this week, sentenced only to probation after killing four in a drunk driving crash. Full coverage of the accident HERE

CNN spoke with the psychologist who defended the teen with a diagnosis called “affluenza.”

Breanna Mitchell's disabled car was struck at 70 MPH by a drunk teen, killing her and three others attempting to help her

Breanna Mitchell’s disabled car was struck at 70 MPH by a drunk teen, killing her and three others attempting to help her

“I don’t believe going to the penitentiary was the best thing for him or the State of Texas,” Dr. Dick Miller told Anderson Cooper in an interview Thursday night.

“I believe there’s an 80% chance with this program…that this kid will become a fully functional citizen, who pays taxes and who doesn’t take from the community,” Miller said. “If he goes to the jail…he’s got a 10% chance or a 20% chance.”

Affluenza is defined as a psychological malaise that affects young people who may come from families with money. These individuals may have the feeling of guilt, lack of motivation or a sense of isolation. The teen also grew up in a house where parents were preoccupied with arguments with each other that led to a divorce.

Family and friends were shocked by the verdict, 10 years’ probation after he confessed to intoxication manslaughter  in the crash which killed  Brian Jennings, 43-year-old Burleson youth minister; Breanna Mitchell, age 24; Shelby Boyles, 21, and her 52-year-old mother, Hollie Boyles.

Brian Jennings, a Youth Pastor, stopped to help the broken down teen and was killed in the accident which followed

Brian Jennings, a Youth Pastor, stopped to help the broken down girl and was killed in the accident which followed

Miller said he regretted using the term and the controversy it has caused. “I do believe we used to call these people spoiled brats,” he said.

Couch was facing 20 years. “How is that punishment in any form for killing four people?” Cooper asked.

“I’m not interested in how much punishment he gets,” Miller said.

“This is a better outcome for the State of Texas, spiritually, financially, socially,” he said.

He added later, “For ten years, the judge will have the discretion, at any time she chooses, to send this kid to the penitentiary [if he misbehaves].”

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported Judge Jean Boyd has been the target of public outrage across the city, and a petition urging Gov. Rick Perry to remove her has been set up on Change.org.

Under Texas law, the governor can remove a sitting judge with 2/3 support from Texas House and Senate members, the station reported.

However, Boyd has already announced she will retire next year.

Hollie and Shelby Boyles were killed in a car accident after stopping to help a teen with car trouble on the side of the road

Hollie and Shelby Boyles were killed in a car accident after stopping to help a teen with car trouble on the side of the road

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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. James says:

    I find this Doctor’s assessment and the court’s boondoggle very incriminating. Seeing that I was thirty three years old when I too was drunk and killed a single person. But got prosecuted and given fifty years in prison. In TEXAS…what purpose has my sentence served me? This is pure BS from every standpoint of discrimination. I spent twenty two years behind bars for what I did. But this rich kid’s politically connected parent’s have gotten him off. Four people died…that in essence is supposed to be a death penalty circumstance. In light of the fact, that he illegally possessed alcohol a misdemeanor, which could have led to an enhanced felony DWI under Texas law. And then four counts of vehicular homicide. Which’s warrants a death penalty. This case right here shows the world how screwed up Texas law makers are. I am ragging mad over this crap.

  2. Paz Universal says:

    WHO “defined” affluenza. It is NOT an official diagnosis, just something this guy made up so that he could get the result they wanted – no jail time or other consequences. So basically this verdict continues the abuse that was supposed to cause his problem. This is just another Lindsay Lohan-stule circus act. With no one laughing except this young man who is getting off with yet another “oh that’s all right, little baby. Do what you want and avoid all consequences.”

  3. Mike says:

    This is tragic. I wonder why this writer refers to the owner of the disabled car that was hit, whom was 24, as a teen. A mistake, or an attempt to over blow the story by making the victims appear younger than they were.

  4. Mike Buck says:

    This is one for the books. Legalized man slaughter for those that come from families of wealth.

  5. News – US » Dr Dick Miller defends parole for Ethan Couch, teen who killed four in drunk … – The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Dr Dick Miller defends parole for Ethan Couch, teen who killed four in drunk …The Global DispatchDescribed as a “spoiled teen” in stories, Ethan Couch walked out of juvenile court this week, sentenced only to probation after killing four in a drunk driving crash. Full coverage of the accident HERE. CNN spoke with the psychologist who defended the teen …Teen sentenced to 10 years probation, rehab in 4 deathsFort Worth Star TelegramOutrage follows probation for teen who killed four in crashWFAAThe cure for 'affluenza' is prisonCNNTIME -New York Times -San Francisco Chronicleall 687 news articles […]

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