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Hullabaloo


Friday, December 13, 2013

 
Affluenza defense

by digby

Poor little rich boy:
Earlier Tuesday, a psychologist testified that the teen essentially raised himself.

His parents had a volatile and co-dependent relationship, and had a contentious divorce, said Gary Miller, who began evaluating the teen on the day he was released from a hospital after the wreck.

The parents argued often, which the teen witnessed, Miller said.

The teen’s father “does not have relationships, he takes hostages,” Miller said. Miller described the mother as a desperate woman who used her son as a tool to get her husband to act the way she wanted.

The mother gave the teen things, Miller said. “Her mantra was that if it feels good, do it,” Miller said.

The teen’s intellectual age was 18, but his emotional age was 12, Miller told Boyd.

“The teen never learned to say that you’re sorry if you hurt someone,” Miller said. “If you hurt someone, you sent him money.”

Miller said if the teen can get the help that he needs, perhaps he can become a contributing member of society and make amends for the pain he caused so many families.

“This kid has been in a system that’s sick,” Miller said. “If he goes to jail, that’s just another sick system.”

As a child, he had to make adult decisions, Miller said. He had a motorcycle when he was 4 or 5 and was driving large pickups at 13, Miller said. The teen was a high school graduate at 16, but could not say where he went to school, where he went to church and had no friends, Miller said.

His parents never taught him the things that good parents teach children, Miller said.

“He never learned that sometimes you don’t get your way,” Miller said. “He had the cars and he had the money. He had freedoms that no young man would be able to handle.”
What did he do that required such a defense?
A Keller teenager who pleaded guilty to driving drunk and causing collisions that killed four people in June was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years probation.

State District Judge Jean Boyd ordered the 16-year-old to receive therapy at a long-term, in-patient facility. He will stay in Tarrant County juvenile detention until the juvenile probation department prepares a report about possible treatment programs.

If the teen violates the terms of his probation, he could be sent to prison for 10 years.

Prosecutors had asked that the youth be sentenced to 20 years in a state lockup.

Defense attorneys recommended a lengthy probationary term at a rehabilitation facility near Newport Beach, Calif., that can cost more than $450,000 a year. Attorneys said the teen’s parents would pay for the therapy.

The 16-year-old pleaded guilty last week to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury. Killed were Breanna Mitchell of Lillian, whose car broke down the night of June 15 on Burleson-Retta Road; Hollie and Shelby Boyles, who lived nearby and had come outside to help Mitchell; and Burleson youth minister Brian Jennings, a passer-by who had also stopped to help.

The teen admitted to being drunk when he lost control of his pickup. He had seven passengers in his Ford F-350, was speeding, had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, plus traces of Valium in his system, according to earlier testimony.

The "affluenza" defense is offensive on so many levels. But he is just a kid and maybe there is a chance to redeem his life in some way. (He needs to. Apparently at the scene he arrogantly declared "I'm outta here" to the cops.) But this certainly does show the dimensions of the two tiered justice system we have in this country. For instance:
Takunda Mavima, 18, was sentenced Monday to 30 months to 15 years in prison for a car crash that killed friends and fellow Wyoming Park High School students Timothy See, 17, and Krysta Howell, 15, in May. 
The teen must also serve a concurrent 30-month to five-year term for seriously injuring another passenger in the car, reported MLive.com.
Takunda Mavima, as you might have guessed, was not a rich white boy. He'll be doing hard time and that's in spite of his clear remorse and the father of one of the victims pleading for leniency. I doubt his parents had enough money to send him to "rehab" though. Too bad.

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