Juvenile Justice

'Affluenza' teen on probation for fatal crash is sent to pricey rehab

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In the latest development in a juvenile case that outraged a number of observers, a Texas judge on Wednesday ordered a teenager who drove drunk and caused a crash that killed four people and severely injured two others into a private locked rehab facility.

State District Judge Jean Boyd said his wealthy parents must pay for the treatment, as they have previously offered to do. And this option offers the best chance for the teen’s rehabilitation, one of his lawyers, Reagan Wynn, told CNN. The youth cannot use drugs, drink or drive during his 10-year probation, and if he does he could be required to serve 10 years in prison.

However, some were outraged at the judge’s acceptance of the defense’s argument that the teen, who was 16 years old when his pickup hit four pedestrians and a parked car in Burleson last year, suffered from what is being widely called “affluenza.” Although the judge said the youth lacked parental attention and guidance, despite his family’s material wealth, critics say he is benefiting unfairly from the family’s ability to pay for a top legal defense and private rehabilitation.

These critics include Eric Boyles, whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash. “Had he not had money to have the defense there, to also have the experts testify, and also offer to pay for the treatment, I think the results would have been different,” said Boyles after the Wednesday hearing.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “‘Poor little rich boy,’ 16, gets 10-year probation in DUI crash that killed 4 people”

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