Parents of Texas 'affluenza' teen to pay part of state treatment

Reuters

By Marice Richter

FORT WORTH, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas judge, who was criticized for sentencing a wealthy Texas teen to probation after he killed four people while driving drunk, on Friday ordered his parents to pay a small part of the cost of his treatment at a state-run facility.

Judge Jean Boyd, whose sentence of 10 years probation and no jail time set off a backlash of criticism in December, ordered the youth's parents to pay about $1,100 a month.

The state facility he has been sent to costs $715 a day. His parents had offered to pay for private treatment at a private out-of-state facility.

The case set off an emotional debate after a psychologist for the teenager testified that his family's wealth had impaired the teenager's ability to take responsibility for his actions, saying he suffered from "affluenza."

The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize "affluenza" as a diagnosis.

Prosecutors had asked the court to send the teenager to a youth detention center as punishment.

Prosecutors said the then 16-year-old had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit for an adult when he killed the driver of a car that had broken down by the side of the road and three people who had gone to help the stranded motorist.

Four other people were injured, two seriously, in the crash near Fort Worth in June 2013.

(Editing by David Bailey and Ken Wills)

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