The father of the teen who used an “affluenza” defense to escape jail time for killing four people while drunk driving has been found guilty on a misdemeanor charge of falsely identifying himself as a police officer.
The incident occurred in August 2014, when Couch allegedly appeared at Keith Capo’s front door, armed and accompanied by another neighbor, to talk about an argument that occurred a few days prior, KXAS reports.
When police arrived on the scene, Capo told them he wanted to press charges. The police then talked to Couch, and afterwards, Capo said the officers tried to talk him out of pressing charges.
Couch told the officers “I have my Lakeside police stuff in the truck,” and displayed a badge bearing the words, “Lakeside Police,” and “search and rescue.”
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Couch’s defense attorney Scott Brown argued to the jury that Couch never attempted to use the badge to assert authority.
A judge sentenced Fred Couch to one year probation, with 120 days in a county jail if he violates the probation terms. Couch will also complete 100 hours of community service, according to The Huffington Post. He will complete these hours at the Fort Worth Police Department’s horse barn.
In 2013, Couch’s son Ethan, then 16, killed four people while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. Ethan was sentenced to 10 years probation for the incident, after his attorney argued that the wealthy teen’s affluent upbringing distorted his sense of right and wrong. This “affluenza” argument was met with much public anger.
In December 2015, Ethan was accused of violating his probation. Authorities arrested he and his mother Tonya in Mexico. Ethan is serving a 720 day jail sentence, 180 days for each of the people he killed.
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Tonya is on home confinement, awaiting trial on felony charges of money laundering and hindering apprehension of a felon.