CRIME

Ethan Couch, 'Affluenza' Teen, Facing 5 Lawsuits

12/18/2013 09:51 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
Newsy via WFAA

Ethan Couch's troubles aren't over yet.

On Dec. 10, the Texas 16-year-old was sentenced to a decade of probation after killing four people while driving drunk. During his trial, a psychologist called by the defense testified that Couch suffers from "affluenza," meaning that on the night of the crash he did not understand the consequences of his actions because of his privileged upbringing. Prosecutors had sought a maximum sentence of 20 years.

Couch is facing five lawsuits brought by families of the crash victims. The suits also target Couch's father, Fred Couch, as well as Fred's company, Cleburne Metal Works, which owned the pickup Couch was driving during the fatal wreck.

Marla Mitchell, mother of Breanna Mitchell, 24, who was killed in the crash, is suing for unspecified damages, as is Shaunna Jennings, wife of 41-year-old youth pastor Brian Jennings, who was also killed, reports NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. Eric and Marguerite Boyles are suing on behalf of deceased family members Hollie Boyles, 52, and Shelby Boyles, 21. The parents of two injured victims are also suing.

The tragic accident occurred when Couch was driving 30 mph over the speed limit outside Dallas on June 15 and swerved off the road. His Ford F-350 hit a small crowd of pedestrians gathered near Breanna Mitchell's broken-down car. Couch's blood-alcohol level was .24 at the time, which is three times the legal limit for an adult in the state of Texas.

(Hat tip, Reddit)

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