Rich kid uses 'affluenza' as defense for killing four pedestrians

CREATED Dec. 12, 2013

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It used to be called being a spoiled brat. Now, experts have given it a name -- affluenza. It is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people. Experts say that results in selfish, self-absorbed people who do not realize the consequences of their actions.

That was the excuse used by a 16-year-old teen who was seriously drunk and killed four pedestrians in June. And it worked. The boy was sentenced to 10 years of probation even though prosecutors for the case asked for 20 years.

Ethan Couch from Keller, Texas, and his friends stole two cases of beer from a store before the teen's Ford F-350 slammed into the pedestrians. Police say that the teen's blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit at the time.

According to FOX News, the families of the victims are outraged and the disappointed prosecutor in the case says he believes that the teen will just end up back in trouble.

Eric Boyles, who lost his wife and daughter, told CNN that he felt that nothing was accomplished and that his healing process was out the window because of the probation sentence.

However, the teen's lawyer says the probation sentence is actually better because he will be under observation of the court for 10 years. If he had been sentenced to prison, he probably would have been out in two and no longer under scrutiny.

The teen's family is planning on sending him to a rehab facility in California that costs more than $450,000 per year.

What do you think? Is affluenza a real condition? Did Couch receive a fair sentence? Tell us in the comments section.