Four people were left dead after a teenager drunkenly drove into other commuters and blamed it on his rich upbringing.
Texas teen Ethan Couch was spared from a murder conviction after he hit four people with his truck after a night of drinking stolen beer with his friends.
The 16-year-old was given 10 years of probation rather than jail time after the defense argued that his privileged upbringing stunted his self-control. A psychologist dubbed it as “affluenza” during the trial.
According to USA Today on Thursday, the term is not a formal diagnosis but is supposed to reflect the fact that Couch’s parents were distant and gave the 16-year-old no structure.
Couch crashed into four people who were working on an SUV that broke down in Fort Worth in June. The accident also severely injured his two friends in the truck, one of whom is now paralyzed.
The teen admitted to being drunk at the time of the accident. Police reported his blood alcohol level at a 0.24, three times more than the legal limit according to CNN.
His defense team argued that due to the lax parenting, Couch did not have the proper judgment. Judge Jean Boyd agreed that the teen should have limited contact with his parents and seek treatment for his apparent condition.
"We are disappointed by the punishment assessed but have no power under the law to change or overturn it," Assisstant District Attorney Richard Alpert said in the report.
The husband of victim Hollie Boyles felt outraged and even went on television to express his frustration.
“There needs to be some justice here," Eric Boyles told “Anderson Cooper 360”.
Celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky said that the psychologist’s diagnosis as “nonsense” on Cooper’s show.
“It’s not a justification,” he said. “One somebody gets to the point where they’re harming other people, justice must be what’s applied, not some nonsense about some pseudoscience of what caused it.”