Another victim has been revealed in the Ethan Couch “affluenza” case that resulted in no jail time for the teen who killed four people when he was driving drunk.
Sergio Molina was one of seven of Couch’s friends who were crammed into the back of his pick up truck when the teenager drove at three times the legal limit six months ago.
Driving erratically, Couch struck and killed four people who were standing along the side of the road, and while prosecutors asked he be sentenced to 20 years, the judge ordered no jail time and 10 years probation.
Friday night, the family of another of Couch’s victims — 16-year-old Molina — revealed their own anguish at the verdict.
Molina is paralyzed, “minimally conscious,” and requires around-the-clock medical care, his family told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Molina’s older brother, Alex Lemus, who has quit his job to help care for Sergio, said he was “so outrageously angry, I couldn’t say a thing” when he first heard the sentence.
Sergio’s medical bills have already topped $1 million, and the family is now suing Couch’s family and his father’s business, the registered owner of the truck, for $20 million which will be needed for a lifetime of care.
“That kid killed four people and crippled my little brother and doesn’t even have to serve one year? If he were poor like us, he wouldn’t gotten 10 years,” Alex told the Dallas Morning News.
Couch’s legal team mounted a unique defense, saying he suffered from “affluenza,” essentially calling him a spoiled brat who had such a sense of entitlement he didn’t understand there were consequences for his actions.
As part of his sentence, Couch will be spending the next two years as a private rehab center in Newport Beach, Calif. which is costing his parents $450,000 a year.
The center has been called a “country club” by some. It features equine therapy and a menu with organic options.