Texas teen kills 4 gets no jail time; same judge gives black teen to 10 years for 1 punch

Brian Jennings, Breanna Mitchell, Hollie Boyles, Shelby Boyles
Brian Jennings, Breanna Mitchell, Hollie Boyles, Shelby Boyles

Ethan Couch, 16, is known to the world and newsmakers as the drunken teenager who caused a crash that killed four pedestrians in Tarrant County, Tex. On June 15, 2013, he robbed Walmart and stole beer. He drank so much, his blood alcohol level registered at .24, roughly three times the legal limit. He plowed into the helpless victims – friends Breanna Mitchell, Hollie and Shelby Boyles and a local youth pastor who was helping the women, Brian Jennings – while “joy riding” with friends in a red 2012 Ford F-350 pick-up truck at a speed of 70 mph.

Two of his passengers were thrown from the vehicle, including Sergio E. Molina, who has been in a vegetative state since the night of the accident.

The reckless teen who has been driving since he was 13 was sentenced to only 10 years probation but no jail time because he suffers from affluenza. Not influenza commonly referred to as the flu, but affluenza, a pathological condition popularized by British psychologist Oliver James where one values material wealth over all else. So you’re like this writer wondering how did they make this square peg fit so perfectly in this round affluenza hole? They’ve concluded that Couch is the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for the boy.

Texas District Court Judge Jean Boyd ordered that Couch must enter into a private counseling center.

In March 2012, according to the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Office, Judge Boyd sentenced an unnamed black Fort Worth teen, 14, to 10 years in prison for punching Mark Gregory, 40.

“Just after 10 p.m. on October 6, the teen was riding in a Cadillac with two friends when he suddenly jumped out of the vehicle in the 1700 block of Vaughn Avenue and punched Gregory, who was 5-foot-1 and weighed 106 pounds,” said the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in a statement. “Gregory’s head struck the pavement and he died two days later.”

The  14-year-old Fort Worth teen, who is not being identified because he was prosecuted as a juvenile, admitted on Jan. 5 that he committed delinquent conduct/manslaughter.

The 14-year-old Fort Worth teen was sentenced to 10 years by Judge Boyd for killing a stranger with a single unprovoked punch.

According to the site: The teen will begin serving his sentence at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department where he will undergo rehabilitation programs.  The teen could remain until his 19th birthday in TJJD, which is basically the prison for juveniles, but if he makes progress, department officials could recommend he be paroled back to the community. Prior to his 19th birthday, if he hasn’t worked the program, department officials could ask the judge to transfer him to an adult prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.

A statement from the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office says the boy and two friends hopped out of a car that night when they saw Gregory walking. The punch knocked the 106-pound Gregory down and he hit his head on the pavement. He died two days later.


Yvette Caslin
Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.

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