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DA Moves Forward With New Effort To Lock Up Teenage Drunk Driver

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TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s a new effort to put a teenage drunk driver behind bars. Ethan Couch killed four people in a crash this past summer. Police say his blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.

Last week state District Judge Jean Boyd sentenced Couch to 10 years probation. Now the Tarrant County District Attorney is turning his attention toward the two surviving, but severely injured teens in the crash.

While Couch received probation for the intoxication manslaughter charge against him, the teen has not been tried for the two counts of intoxication assault that he was also charged with. Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon says those charges are still pending and that means prosecutors could have another shot at putting Couch behind bars.

Couch may have gotten 10 years probation for driving drunk and killing four people but now prosecutors are hoping he gets jail time for hurting two of his friends.

Sergio Molina and Solimon Mohmand were riding in the back of Couch’s pickup. Mohmand had broken bones and internal injuries. Molina is paralyzed and can only communicate by blinking.

Molina’s friend, rapper and songwriter Michael Lane, wrote a rap song after Couch received the probation sentence. Lane wants to make sure his friend is not forgotten – and so does DA Joe Shannon.

Shannon released a statement Tuesday evening that said:

“During his recent trial, the 16-year-old admitted his guilt in four cases of intoxication manslaughter and two cases of intoxication assault. There has been no verdict formally entered in the two intoxication assault cases. Every case deserves a verdict. The district attorney’s office is asking the court to incarcerate the teen on the two intoxication assault cases.”

The same judge who gave Couch probation would hear those cases.

CBS 11 News is also learning more about Couch’s parents. Both his mother and father have long criminal histories

According to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Fred Couch has been arrested for assault with bodily injury, evading arrest, and he even has A DWI. Tonya Couch has been charged with reckless driving and theft.

During Ethan’s trial the boy’s attorneys argued that he was not responsible for his actions. One psychologist said Ethan was a victim of “affluenza,” or a victim of wealth and assumed entitlement as a result of privileged parents who didn’t require him to adhere to any rules, guidelines or limits. Lawyers said Couch’s parents gave him, “freedoms no young person should have.”

As far as the intoxication assault cases — the maximum sentence Couch could face would be three years in jail.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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