Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott expressed outrage recently at the lenient probation sentence the drunken killer of four people in North Texas recently received, according to a Dallas Fort Worth television affiliate.
Abbott, a native of Wichita Falls, Tex., is the top law enforcement official in the state and is running for governor of the Lone Star State.
Many citizens around the state were shocked recently when Ethan Crouch, 16, walked out of a courtroom with a 10-year probation sentence. Several people express amazement that after he drove into a woman standing near her stranded vehicle by the side of the road killing her and three other people who were trying to assist her, he would receive treatment in a luxury rehab center in California for substance abuse instead of a stay in the Texas penitentiary system.
Not only did Crouch kill four people, but he also paralyzed a fifth person who can only communicate by blinking his eyes. A sixth person was also injured as result of Crouch's impaired driving.
Abbott, who was in the middle of a campaign tour for governor, took time out to address the lenient sentence for the man who ruined so many lives by driving while impaired, saying, "Anytime anyone is harmed in an accident of course there is tremendous sympathy for the victims and their family members and sorrow for the tragedy that happened."
Even though Abbott's office did not handle the case, he is so concerned about the outcome that he further said, "We are looking into the situation to see what we can do. We've never been involved in a situation like this where we did have the opportunity to weigh in. We want to visit with various different parties to see if there is an angle for the Attorney General's Office to play a role."
A Tarrant County court handed down the probation order after Couch confessed to committing Intoxication Manslaughter. His sentence could've been has high as 20 years in the Texas penitentiary system rather than the stay in the luxury rehab facility.
His father is paying the $450,000 tab for his son to stay in the upscale rehab facility.
National and international outrage has erupted after defense attorneys used the original defense of "affluenza" to persuade a court to allow him to avoid serious consequences for his inexcusable behavior in removing four people from the face of the earth. The affluenza defense included arguing that because of his wealth and dysfunctional family, Crouch should not have to face the rigors of prison. Under this unique defense attorneys argued that because of his family's wealth and privilege he didn't know the difference between right and wrong.
Crouch reportedly had enough alcohol in his system to make three men drunk. The blood alcohol test showed he had three times the legal limit in his system at the time he ran over and killed four innocent people.
Abbott has compiled an excellent record as a prosecutor while serving the people of Texas as its 50th Attorney General. If anything can be done to help the families of the victims, Abbott will find a way.
Anyone interested in receiving free updates of future Wichita Falls Law Enforcement articles may click on the subscribe link near this article.