Ethan Couch, the wealthy Texas teen that was involved in a fatal DUI crash in 2013, made headlines when his millionaire parents made the so-called “Affluenza” defense. In recently obtained recordings of Couch’s deposition, new details of the sensational case have been uncovered.
On July 25, 2013, Couch, then 16, was out drinking with his friends and hopped behind the wheel of his father’s pickup truck. Couch’s blood alcohol levels were three times over the legal limit, and he was speeding down a road at 70 MPH before losing control and slamming into a group of people helping a motorist out of a ditch. Four people were killed immediately. Couch’s family claimed that the boy suffered from affluenza, a psychological condition that allegedly affects wealthy people.
ABC News exclusively obtained the deposition recordings featuring Couch and his parents Fred and Tonya Couch, who both own a successful sheet-metal company. The recordings were linked to a 2013 civil suit brought against the teen, the parents and their company as they didn’t testify during the criminal trial. ABC’s 20/20 program profiled Couch’s case and examined its many moving parts.
ABC News writes:
During the deposition, Ethan Couch, who was 16 years old at the time of the accident, described a privileged life seemingly with few rules or consequences. He testified that he did drugs, that he thought his mother knew he drank alcohol and warned him not to drink and drive the night of the accident, that his parents allowed him to start driving by himself at age 13, and that he often stayed alone in the family’s second home in Burleson, Texas.
Tonya and Fred Couch admitted in the deposition that they allowed their son to stay without supervision in the Burleson home and to drive before he was of legal age, but denied knowing about his drinking habits. Fred Couch testified that “[Ethan] seemed pretty responsible.”
When asked if she had ever disciplined Ethan for anything, Tonya Couch testified in the deposition that she would “sometimes … take little things away from him or we would just discuss the problems.” When asked if she could recall the last time she disciplined her son, Tonya replied, “I don’t remember.”
Watch 20/20′s full report on the Ethan Couch affluenza case below.
Photo: ABC News