"Affluenza Teen" Ethan Couch on the Run After Killing Several People, Violating Probation

Kimberly RipleyLife

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"Affluenza teen" Ethan Couch is on the run. Authorities believe he is with his mother. Couch is the 18-year-old who, two-and-a-half years ago, killed several people while driving drunk. A judge gave him a light sentence that included no jail time, saying the teen suffered from "affluenza."

The "affluenza teen" killed Kevin McConnell's then 12-year-old son. He is disgusted with the judge's decision, especially now that Crouch is missing. In his view, the teen was never held accountable for his crimes. Still under orders to meet regularly with his parole officer, the "affluenza teen" has disappeared, and McConnell isn't the least bit surprised.

"No surprises at all; there was a pattern," he said on Friday. "Nothing is going to make an impact on this guy unless there's something severe or certain."

It was the night of June 15, 2013 when Couch and some of his friends stole beer and started drinking. Then they hit the road, with Ethan Couch behind the wheel.

That same evening, Hollie Boyles and her daughter Shelby left their home to help their friend, Breanna Mitchell, whose SUV had broken down. Brian Jennings, a youth pastor, was driving past. He stopped to help as well.

Couch plowed into them, and killed them all. Several others suffered severe injuries, including two passengers who were thrown from the bed of the affluenza teen's truck.

Three hours after the crash, tests showed Couch had a blood-alcohol content of 0.24. That's three times the legal limit.

Ethan Couch's "affluenza" testimony made national headlines, as did the Tarrant County judge's ruling to give him only probation instead of the 20 years behind bars requested by prosecutors. Crouch was also ordered into long-term mental health treatment, away from the influence of his affluent parents.

Todd Clement is a lawyer who represents Hollie Boyles's survivors and Kevin McConnell. He had the following to say about the judge who sentenced the "affluenza teen." She is now retired.

"It's clear that she gave someone a chance that didn't deserve it," he said. "And (that is) exactly what Kevin McConnell predicted."

A warrant for Ethan Couch's arrest was issued in recent days, following a video that turned up online of the "affluenza teen" playing beer pong at a party--despite explicit instructions in his probation guidelines not to consume alcohol. When his probation officer tried to reach him, he was nowhere to be found.

Since then, the FBI and U.S. Marshals have joined local authorities in the hunt for the "affluenza teen." A $5,000 reward was offered for information leading to his arrest.

Ethan Couch's disappearance only creates more heartache for the families of those he killed. It also hits home their belief, as well as that of others, that he should have been jailed for his crime.

"'Affluenza' aside, Ethan Couch appears to show blatant disregard for the law, and he must be held accountable," Sheehey-Church, the head of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said.

"The families impacted will never have their loved ones back; Ethan Couch must have consequences for his actions," she added.

Do you suppose the judge who allowed this "affluenza teen" to get off practically scot free is doubting her decision now?

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.