[Marxism] Texas-style justice
lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Dec 23 06:47:59 MST 2015
Prosecutor Says No Indictment in Sandra Bland Jail Death
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, DEC. 22, 2015
HEMPSTEAD, Texas — A grand jury decided that neither sheriff's officials
nor jailers committed a crime in the treatment of a black woman who died
in a Texas county jail last summer, but it has not yet determined
whether the state trooper who arrested her should face charges, a
Prosecutor Darrell Jordan said Monday that the Waller County grand jury
will return in January to consider "other issues" and warned there could
be indictments. Unresolved issues include possible charges against the
trooper who arrested 28-year-old Sandra Bland.
NY Times, Dec. 23 2015
Texas Reels After Teenager in ‘Affluenza’ Case and His Mother Disappear
By JULIE TURKEWITZ and KATIE ROGERS
It was a case that captivated the nation, prompting a discussion about
wealth and power: A white teenager from a well-off family killed four
people in a Texas suburb in June 2013 while driving drunk. At trial, a
judge gave the teenager probation after a witness testified that he had
suffered from too much privilege — an affliction the witness called
This month, the case came roaring back after the authorities announced
that the teenager, Ethan Couch, 18, had disappeared with his mother
before a hearing that could have transferred his case to adult court,
possibly resulting in prison time.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office in Texas’
Tarrant County, Samantha Jordan, said that Mr. Couch had failed to check
in with his probation officer on Dec. 10, but that the office was not
notified of his disappearance until Dec. 15, leaving the authorities
scrambling to make up for lost time.
Mr. Couch’s escape scratched at unhealed wounds in the county, which
includes Fort Worth and is near Dallas. “There are two social classes
where we live,” said Alexander Lemus, 25, whose brother, Sergio Molina,
was thrown from the car driven by Mr. Couch and is now paralyzed,
brain-damaged and unable to speak.
The family is struggling to care for him, Mr. Lemus said. “We are
Latino-Americans — my mom is a first-generation Latino-American here,
single mother, four kids,” he added. “What would the American public say
if I was Ethan Couch?”
The manhunt for Mr. Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, 48, has grown to
involve the United States Marshals Service and the F.B.I. Hundreds of
leads from across the country have poured in, but no one is sure when
the Couches disappeared.
Room for Debate: Sentencing and the 'Affluenza' FactorFEB. 18, 2014
Mr. Couch came under fire this month after a video surfaced on Twitter
that appeared to show him playing drinking games, which would violate
his 10-year probation sentence.
After Mr. Couch failed to check in with his juvenile probation officer,
an officer found Ms. Couch’s home emptied out. Her truck was also
missing. “With the amount of money the family has, obviously they have
the means to kind of stay off the radar if they want to,” Ms. Jordan said.
One theory floated by investigators is that mother and son fled the
country, Ms. Jordan said, but there is no evidence to support that idea.
Ms. Jordan said Mr. Couch’s father, Fred, had cooperated with
investigators. The elder Mr. Couch, who divorced Ms. Couch this fall, is
in separate trouble with the law, and faces charges for impersonating a
police officer after an arrest last year. He is not thought to be
involved in aiding the escape, Ms. Jordan said.
As curiosity surrounding the case grows, the authorities are asking the
public for help. On Monday, the local sheriff’s office posted photos of
a black Ford F-150 pickup truck that belongs Ms. Couch. The truck, with
the Texas license plate number BC50945, has some damage to the rear
On the night of the accident, Mr. Couch and a group of friends stole
beer from a Walmart and went to his parents’ home in Burleson, Tex.
Afterward, he and seven other people crowded into a pickup truck owned
by his father’s company.
Mr. Couch drove the car into four pedestrians: Breanna Mitchell, whose
car had broken down, and three people who had stopped to help — Brian
Jennings, Hollie Boyles and her daughter, Shelby Boyles.
Mr. Couch was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.24 percent, three
times the legal limit for people 21 and over. He was convicted of
vehicular manslaughter. Prosecutors had sought 20 years in prison.
The case made headlines when a psychologist called by the defense
described Mr. Couch as suffering from “affluenza,” a term used to
describe the psychological problems associated with children born to
“I wish I hadn’t used that term,” the psychologist, G. Dick Miller, told
CNN at the time. “We used to call these people spoiled brats.”
The judge in the case, Jean Hudson Boyd, was a longtime Tarrant County
juvenile justice who retired shortly after the decision.
Last week, the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office offered a $5,000 reward
for information leading to Mr. Couch’s arrest. On Tuesday, his lawyers,
Reagan Wynn and Scott Brown, said in an email that they had received no
new information about their client.
Alain Delaquérière contributed research.
More information about the Marxism