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Deposition: Teen in ‘affluenza’ case used drugs, alcohol

🕐 1 min read

DALLAS (AP) — A teenager who killed four people in a 2013 drunken-driving wreck near Fort Worth and claimed as part of his defense that he suffered from “affluenza” testified during a deposition that he used drugs and believed his parents knew he drank alcohol.

A video recording of the deposition obtained by ABC News (http://abcn.ws/1LS8e8a ) shows Ethan Couch responding to claims that his wealthy parents coddled him into irresponsibility. The report didn’t specify when the deposition was held or which lawsuit it related to.

Couch said before the wreck, he had used drugs and alcohol on a number of occasions.

“I’ve taken Valium, Hydrocodone, marijuana, cocaine, Xanax and I think I tried Ecstasy once, pretty sure that was it,” Couch testified.

The teen had seven passengers in his truck when he plowed into a disabled vehicle on the side of a dark road. Besides the four people killed, several of those in the truck and others helping the driver of the disabled vehicle were injured.

Couch, who is now 18, said during the deposition that one of the only things he remembers from the night was “waking up handcuffed to the hospital bed.”

District Judge Jean Boyd in December 2013 gave Couch 10 years’ probation following a sentencing hearing in which Couch’s attorneys invoked the affluenza defense. Prosecutors had asked for a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Under Texas juvenile law, the maximum allowable sentence in Couch’s intoxication assault case was three years in a Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility.

Couch and his parents were deposed for a lawsuit related to the wreck. The family last week settled the last of a series of lawsuits filed since the crash.

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