'Affluenza' family won't pay full rehab fee
FORT WORTH — The family of a Texas teenager sentenced to probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck will pay for just a fraction of his court-ordered treatment, a court official testified on Friday.
Ethan Couch's parents will be charged $1,170 a month for his treatment in the North Texas State Hospital in rural Vernon. That amount would cover less than two days of treatment, which costs $715 a day, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Couch's case drew national attention in large part because of his defense's argument that his wealthy parents had coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility — a condition that a defense expert called “affluenza.”
Couch, 17, killed four people last year when his vehicle rammed into a crowd of people trying to help the driver of a disabled vehicle south of Fort Worth.
Debbie Spoonts, placement supervisor for Tarrant County Juvenile Services, said the facility decided what Fred and Tonya Couch would pay based on a sliding scale.
A message from The Associated Press seeking comment from Spoonts on the facility's payment policy was not immediately returned on Friday.
The teen's family previously had offered to pay for Couch to go to a $450,000-a-year rehabilitation center near Newport Beach, Calif. State District Judge Jean Boyd rejected that.
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