A Juvenile Judge in Texas recently issued sentencing on a 16 year old Texas boy that killed four people and seriously injured two others in a automobile accident involving alcohol. On June 15, the teenager was driving a Ford F-350 with 7 passengers. He stuck and killed four pedestrians, three of which had stopped in aid of the fourth stranded motorist. Two passengers from the bed of the truck were ejected from the vehicle and severely injured. One has a brain injury and cannot move or talk. The other suffered internal injuries and broken bones. The evidence indicated that the teens had stolen beer from Wal-Mart earlier in then evening. The driver’s BAC was .24 and he had taken valium.
The defense attorneys presented a defense of “Affluenza.” A defense expert testified that the teen was a victim of his wealthy parents as those parents never set limits, taught him right from wrong, and gave him everything that he wanted. According to the psychologist, the teen could turn his life around if he had no contact with his parents for a few years. The Prosecuting Attorney had requested the maximum of twenty years in prison. The judge sided with defense experts and sentenced the teen to ten years probation. A violation of this probation could result in up to ten years in prison. The judge further would not release the teen to his parents and was looking for a treatment program for him.
Five families have filed civil lawsuits against the teen and his parents for the injuries and deaths from this accident with one family asking for $20 million in damages.