Taxpayers Paid About $200,000 For Ethan Couch’s Rehab, According To Court Documents | KERA News

Taxpayers Paid About $200,000 For Ethan Couch’s Rehab, According To Court Documents

Apr 13, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Ethan Couch’s rehab bill was picked up by the state; a woman tried to smuggle 50 pounds of drugs in her car tires; peruse through a newcomer’s guide to Dallas; and more.

Ethan Couch’s case was transferred to adult court Monday, his 19th birthday. It’s been nearly three years since the teenager drove with a blood-alcohol content of three times the legal limit and consequently, killed four people.

In recent months, he has violated his probation and fled to Mexico with his mother, but things have been more quiet since his return to Tarrant County Jail on Feb. 5. However, this week court documents were released and revealed something new about Couch’s timeline. The teenager went to rehab in 2014, and because his parents couldn’t afford it, the state shelled out about $200,000 in taxpayers’ money, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

In addition to his 10 years probation, Couch was ordered by Judge Jean Boyd to “rehabilitation at the North Texas State Hospital in Vernon, where the daily cost for Couch was $673, or about $20,000 a month, according to case documents,” the Star-Telegram reported. He stayed from February to November 2014, and his parents only paid $1,170 per month, according to the documents.

With Couch’s case now in the adult court system, more documents could be made available in the coming weeks, according to The Dallas Morning News. [The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Dallas Morning News]

  • A Dallas woman tried smuggling $1.6 million worth of meth in her tires across the Texas-Mexico border. The Associated Press reported: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials on Tuesday announced the bust at the Paso Del Norte border crossing in El Paso. The driver from Dallas was detained on drug smuggling charges after officers found more than 50 pounds of meth in the vehicle.” Read more. [Associated Press, The Dallas Morning News]
  • The number of people who believe carrying a gun makes them feel safer has tripled in nine years. Texas is a cultural hub for the gun-carrying population that has grown to 13 million in almost a decade. John Burnett reported for NPR from the Texas Firearms Festival and spoke with the executive director of A Girl & A Gun, a women’s shooting league in Texas, for a story on the prominent gun culture. Burnett said: “One thing is certain: Carrying around a loaded weapon and being prepared at a moment's notice to use deadly force changes how people perceive their environment. Of the 20 handgun carriers I interviewed over several months, most of them say they're more aware of how people look and how they act.” Read more. [NPR]
  • Here’s another state roadside attraction to add to your list. A 20-foot-tall, 3,000-pound Bowie knife was installed in — you guessed it — Bowie, Texas, a town north of Fort Worth named for Jim Bowie. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported: “The knife was the idea of Bob Hadley, a noted horse trainer and a sculptor. He died in a car wreck in 2013, but his concept lived on.” You can see the knife in Pelham Park, just north of U.S. 81. Read more. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
  • Newcomers, here’s your guide to Dallas. What makes Dallas unique? What are the neighborhoods like? Who’s who in town? All these questions can be answered by referencing D Magazine’s Newcomer’s Guide To Dallas. Once you get the major questions covered, you can start deciding whether D/FW or Lovefield airport is better, which sports teams to root for, and how to get around without a car (It’s possible.). Explore the guide. [D Magazine]