NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott called the sentence given to the 16-year-old who killed four people while driving drunk outrageous.
Abbott spoke to CBS 11’s Joel Thomas about the 10 year probation and treatment at a luxury rehab center in California for substance abuse the court ordered for Ethan Couch. Couch admitted he was driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit when he slammed his pick-up into a woman whose car had broken down on the side of the road. Three people who were trying to help her were also killed in the wreck. Two others suffered serious injuries, including one teen who is paralyzed and can only communicate by blinking.
“Any time anyone is harmed in an accident of course there is tremendous sympathy for the victims and their family members and sorrow for they tragedy happened,” Abbott said. “But then, to see the result in something like this is just outrageous.”
The state’s top lawyer says even though his office has no direct involvement in the ethan couch case, he can’t stand by after seeing the 16 year old receive probation for the deaths of four people.
“We are looking into the situation to see what we can do,” Abbott said. “We’ve never been involved in a situation like this where we did have the opportunity to weigh in. We want to visit with various different parties to see if there is an angle for the Attorney General’s Office to play a role.”
Abbott says he doesn’t think the international headlines the case is receiving damage Texas’s reputation. In fact, he says what’s shocking is how the sentence defies Texas’s reputation.
“Texas is known for being a pretty tough place for wrong doers,” Abbott said. And so, part of the sensation is the fact that someone who injured others and killed others and escaped with such a light penalty is not what you typically see in Texas. And so, that makes the story even more provocative.”
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