Last year, the saga of Ethan Couch came to light when angry people all over the world blasted a judge who said the 17-year-old suffered from “affluenza” and only sentenced him to probation in the drunk driving incident that left four people dead. Now, a judge has only required Couch’s parents to pay for a small fraction of his monthly rehabilitation bill, leaving the rest to taxpayers.
On June 15, 2013, 16-year-old Ethan Couch got drunk and crashed his car into a group of pedestrians, killing four and injuring two. During the trial, Couch’s attorneys argued that the boy suffered from “affluenza,” meaning that coming from wealthy parents made him feel entitled and therefore make bad decisions. The attorneys argued that Couch needed rehabilitation, not jail, and in the end, the judge agreed.
Dr. Dick Miller, the psychologist who first used the term “affluenza” while in court, defended his stance during the trial.
“He pled guilty. He said ‘I did it’” said Miller. “[He said] ‘I was there, I was in the truck, I was driving and we ran over four people.’ My responsibility is to say what is best for this child. What’s best for this 16-year-old boy? And that’s what I told the judge. I used my 30 years of experience to say among the choices, with the kinds of resources that we had, what’s the best treatment for this kid? I don’t believe going to the penitentiary was best for him.”
Now, a judge says that Couch’s parents will only have to pay $1,170 a month towards the boy’s rehabilitation, despite the fact that the services cost $715 a day. The rest of the money, shockingly, will come from the taxpayers’ pockets.
"The family respects the decision of the facility and the court, and will honor the payment system the court has put in place," said Lance Evans, attorney for Fred and Tonya Couch.
So far, most of the victims’ families have settled or are in the process of settling with Ethan Couch’s parents, but the family of Lucas McConnell, who was killed at just 13 years old, says they refuse to settle their lawsuit against the Couch family.
"It's just another step in a long journey,” said Kevin McConnell to WFAA. “We plan to be there for all the steps."
For now, Ethan Couch remains on probation and will spend, reportedly, at least six months in a rehab facility while the American taxpayers, including family members of the victims, will foot most of the bill.
11Nine-Month-Old Boy Arrested For Attempting To Murder Police Still Expected To Appear In Court (Video)
An outrageous story out of Pakistan that went viral last week left many people wondering why a nine-month-old boy would be charged with attempted murder. Now, a judge has officially granted bail for the infant, but the legal troubles are far from over.
Opposing Views first reported last week on the incident that led to the toddler’s arrest. A riot broke out in the eastern city of Lahore, and Khan was arrested after being accused of throwing stones at police officers.
“A nine month old can never commit such a crime,” said Deputy Inspector General of Police Jabbar when the baby was booked. “This incident took place due to sheer misunderstanding on the police's part and was not done on purpose."
Despite Jabbar’s claims that the incident was a misunderstanding, the baby still has legal troubles ahead. A judge officially granted the child bail, noting the absurdity of the situation, but said the child is required by law to return to court on April 12 for a hearing.
“He was booked under Section 326 and was presented before a court,” said the boy’s grandfather Mohammad Yaseen to Reuters. “He doesn't even know how to pick up his milk bottle properly. How can he stone the police?”
The arresting officer was reportedly suspended following the incident.
A mother in Orlando, Florida is sitting in jail after authorities discovered that she and her five children were living in filth. Now, family members say they had no idea that the children were living in those conditions and are attempting to gain custody.
Yolander Lasane, 45, has been charged with five counts of child neglect after her children were found to be living in an unsafe environment. Police say that the house contained urine-soaked mattresses, rooms filled with trashed, feces splattered all over the walls, and a bug infestation.
Authorities were called to the home after Lasane’s 17-year-old daughter ran away and wasn’t seen there for over three weeks. During that time, Lasane failed to contact the authorities, so when a neighbor finally did, they were horrified to discover the conditions the family was living in.
"The severe medical and overall neglect was horrendous," wrote an officer in the police report.
According to reports, one of the children was barely able to eat because his teeth were rotting so badly. The toilets, showers, and sinks were all out of service, and there was barely any running water at all, so it was clear that the children had not bathed in some time.
Fox 35 News in Orlando first reported on the story, and after seeing it on social media, some relatives reached out to offer their help. They claim they were completely unaware that the children were living in such terrible conditions.
“It’s upsetting to see because we didn’t know,” said John Lasane, who currently lives in Georgia. “Like I said, we didn’t know the situation had gotten that bad.”
The children are currently living with a relative while the state attempts to find permanent homes for them. Meanwhile, Yolander Lasane is sitting in jail, facing five child neglect charges.
1124-Year-Old School Security Officer Escapes Jail After Pleading Guilty To Sex With A 15-Year-Old Student
A former security guard at a Norfolk, Virginia high school is being spared jail time after pleading guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old student.
Patience Perez, 24, admitted to having a sexual relationship with the teenager over a period of time. According to reports, the two had sex both at his Virginia Beach home as well as her home in Norfolk. The pair also allegedly discussed a plot to kill Perez’s husband in a series of messages on Facebook, but all charges related to that were dropped.
The 15-year-old boy’s mother went to police about the affair after she found naked photos of Perez on her son’s cell phone, and soon after, the former school security guard was arrested.
Now, a Norfolk judge has agreed to spare Perez jail time if she completes a list of things she must adhere to over the course of one year, including continued counseling, registering as a sex offender, and staying away from the boy and his family.
“We haven’t wrapped our brain around it,” said the boy’s mother to News Channel 3. “It doesn’t make sense. It’s like we endured all this pain all this stress and for this to happen. Just like an arrow to the heart.”
Even though she escaped jail time in Norfolk, Perez will be headed back to court next week in Virginia Beach to face the same charges for having sex with the teen at his home. The boy’s mother hopes that a Virginia Beach judge won’t be as lenient with her and will send her to jail.
“I hope that that prosecutor cares more about my family than Norfolk did,” said the mother.
Despite the murder plot, Perez’s husband has reportedly stuck by her during the trial and was seen holding her hand as they exited the courthouse following the sentencing.
A Texas man has been indicted on capital murder charges after he killed his wife’s infant baby.
According to reports, Brian Christopher Keith was released from prison just nine days prior to the murder. While he was serving jail time for an arson conviction, his wife became pregnant with another man’s baby, so when he arrived home to his wife and her four-week-old daughter, he already had some resentment built up towards the baby.
On the morning of July 2, Keith claims he got up early to go to work and heard Nevaeh crying. He admits to patting the baby on the head or “maybe” striking her before leaving for work.
Later on that day, Keith’s wife Shanna discovered that Nevaeh was unresponsive. Now, a grand jury has indicted Keith on capitol murder charges after an autopsy ruled the infant’s death a homicide.
"Well it was critical because that told the entire story,” said Liberty County Sheriff's Office Capt. Ken DeFoor of the autopsy results. “The pathologist called it a homicide compression death, and basically what that is, is an interruption of the respiratory system by placing pressure.”
Keith is currently back in jail on other, unrelated charges, but will soon be facing a judge for the baby’s murder.
A former middle school teacher from Tacoma, Wash., pleaded guilty to two counts of rape of a child in the second degree, but after being sentenced, she will not face any jail time.
34-year-old Keshia Shaw has been sentenced to six months of house arrest and will also have to undergo regular treatment.
Shaw requested that she not be sent to jail because her health has been deteriorating due to multiple sclerosis.
“I'm worried that prolonged stay here will turn my conditions into a 200-pound 3-year-old," said Shaw in court.
Shaw has a noticeably different appearance since going to jail after initially pleading guilty to the charges against her. The former teacher has polycystic ovarian syndrome, and since she wasn’t given her prescribed medication while awaiting sentencing in jail, the mother of two now has a large amount of facial hair.
Shaw pleaded guilty to the charges against her after a former student of hers came forward alleging that she raped him starting when he was only 12 years old. The incidents happened in 2007 and 2008, but when the student heard a sermon on sexual abuse at church in 2012, he finally came forward with his allegations.
"You were in that special position of trust, you violated it and you did it for your own sexual gratification," said Judge John McCarthy to Shaw in court.
"I take full responsibility for my actions and non-actions that have led us to be here today," said Shaw during the proceedings.
The woman is not allowed contact with any minors other than her two daughters and will have to register as a sex offender for the remainder of her life.
A 27-year-old father has been arrested and charged after his 2-year-old son entered a childcare center with 48 packets of heroin in his jacket.
An employee at Michael’s Energy Factory, a childcare center in Paterson, N.J., discovered the heroin in the toddler’s jacket and reported it to police.
Phillip Young, the boy’s father, was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Reports say there was no indication that child was aware of the drugs in his jacket. Young reportedly brought his son to daycare that morning and is now being held by police on $85,000 bail.
Innocent man Omar Sullivan recently spent 27 days in jail after not one, but four mistakes by law enforcement officials.
Sullivan’s problems date back to 2008, when his identity was stolen by a man named Steven Sylvester. When Sylvester was hit with illegal gun and drug possession charges, they were pinned on Sullivan. Sullivan received a court citation in the mail telling him to appear in court for the felony charges.
"Omar goes down there and says, 'it's not me, it's not me," said Sullivan's attorney, Patrick Metz. "They fingerprint him, they check the fingerprints on the individual Sylvester, who was actually using his ID and they see it's not him."
The fingerprints didn’t match, and Sullivan was cleared of any wrongdoing. Or so he thought. Six years later, on Jan. 27 of this year, Sullivan was pulled over in Georgia. When police ran his ID, he popped up in the system as wanted in New Jersey on felony charges. Somehow, his name had never been cleared in the state’s database.
Sullivan told the officers about the mix up, but they had none of it. He was booked into jail, where he stayed for 12 days before being sent up to Essex County, New Jersey in a paddy wagon. The wagon went on a four-day trip, weaving through Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and several other states before arriving in New Jersey.
"You couldn't move, you couldn't stand up straight; we used to cross our fingers and hope we got to use the bathroom," Sullivan recalls.
Upon arriving in New Jersey, Sullivan immediately knew he was going to have more problems. When he got out of the wagon, officials called him Steven Sylvester.
“That is when I knew that this wasn’t going to be fun,” he said.
"When we went to court, they said they were going to deny him bail, they didn't want to hear they had the wrong person,” said Sullivan’s mother Valerie Murphy.
After several more days in jail, prosecuting attorneys realized their mistake and dropped the charges against Sullivan. The charges were dropped on February 21, and Sullivan figured he would be out of jail that day.
But, as Sullivan's luck would have it, officials made another mistake. They forgot to put his name on the prison release list. Sullivan spent two more days in jail before walking free. All together, he spent 27 days in custody.
“I can’t take these people,’’ Sullivan said. “I never thought in a million years that I would be in this position.’’
Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated the obvious – and not much else – when asked about Sullivan’s undeserved troubles.
“It’s a very complicated matter,” Fontoura said. “But, unfortunately, human error occurs. He appears to be a victim of that. Somebody dropped the ball.’’
A Portland, Ore. man riding a public bus has been arrested for claiming to have a “loaded and cocked” gun on him during the ride.
According to reports, 41-year-old Patrick O’Brien Nolin announced that he had the gun, and when the bus driver overheard, she decided to call the police.
When police arrived, they carefully approached the bus to apprehend Nolin. Once they got him into custody, they discovered that he didn’t really have a gun on him at all. Even though police didn’t find a firearm on Nolin, and he didn’t break any laws in that regard, authorities still arrested him.
Nolin was charged with interfering with public transportation and is currently being held at Multnomah County Jail.
11Father Who Repeatedly Raped His Daughter Since She Was Three And Fled To Germany For 10 Years Finally Goes To Jail
After being on the run for nearly 10 years, a father who repeatedly raped his daughter over a long period of time has finally been convicted.
Frank Hertel, 51, was sentenced to 19 to 95 years in prison by Ohio’s Delaware County Common Pleas Court after he pleaded guilty to rape and gross sexual imposition. His daughter Heather Orr, now 31 years old, started being raped by Hertel when she was just three years old. According to Orr’s claims, her father said he was “teaching her how to express love.”
After years of abuse, Hertel was finally arrested and set to go to trial when Orr was 18. Just days before the trial, Hertel, Orr’s mother Judy, and Orr’s brother were able to flee to Germany. Reports claim that the couple lived using fake identities and ran a bar and grill.
For years, Orr, who was now left alone, struggled to have a normal life. In 2009, after years of building up the courage to search for her father, Orr decided to run an Internet search for him. When she typed her father’s name into Google, she found an article about her grandfather being arrested and charged with $1.2 million in tax fraud. She decided to contact some of the people who commented in the article, and eventually, she was able to discover the location where her father was hiding in Germany. He was captured shortly after.
Now, Hertel will likely spend the rest of his life in jail. During court proceedings, Hertel told the judge that he was sorry for what he did.
“It's not the life that I wanted my daughter to have,” said Hertel. “I wanted her life to be perfect."
Orr says that every new day is a struggle to be happy.
"I have lost my entire family," said Orr. "I often wonder, if I hadn't found him, what would have happened."
The woman, now a married mother, says she is planning to write a book about her lifelong hardships.