A night of partying, fueled by the theft of alcohol from Walmart, ended when Couch, driving a Ford F-350 truck owned by Cleburne Metal Works, his parents' company, struck two parked vehicles and caused a chain reaction. He's believed to have been traveling about 30 mph above the posted 40 mph speed limit at the time of the crash.
When the truck came to a rest Brian Jennings, 43, of Burleson, Breanna Mitchell, 24, of Lillian, Hollie Boyles, 42, of Burleson, and Shelby Boyles, 21, of Burleson all had been killed. Eight teenagers, ranging from ages 15-19, including Couch, were riding in the pickup he was operating, sheriff's reports said. One of those, Sergio Molina, received a severe brain injury and cannot move or talk. Another, Solimon Mohmand, suffered numerous broken bones and internal injuries.
Three hours after the violent crash, Couch was found to have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.24, or three times the adult legal limit of 0.08.
Mitchell is believed to have been the operator of a disabled SUV, which Jennings, a popular Burleson youth pastor, stopped to aid. Both vehicles were struck by the pickup truck.
Mitchell had contacted the Boyles home for help with her SUV, when Jennings arrived and stopped in front of the SUV, according to initial sheriff's office reports.
The pickup truck was the only vehicle in motion when it hit both the SUV and Jennings' vehicle, according to reports. An oncoming Volkswagon, carrying 18-year-old driver Ashlyn Evans and 14-year-old Peyton Alan, both of Burleson, was also struck.
State District Judge Jean Boyd's decision followed three days of testimony from witnesses, victims' families, investigators and treatment experts. Couch will not be released to his parents, Fred and Tanya Couch, the judge told the court, but would be placed in an "intensive, long-term treatment facility" and will have "appropriate probation conditions on him in the near future," according to a release from the Tarrant County District Attorney's office.
Couch could have been given up to 20 years imprisonment by Boyd. If he were to violate any condition of the probation, Couch could be sentenced to up to 10 years imprisonment.
By state law, each intoxication manslaughter charge is a second-degree felony and carries a punishment of two-20 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Each intoxication assault charge is a third-degree felony and carries a punishment of two-10 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $10,000.
The teen and his parents will also face at least five civil suits related to the violent crash. One seeks $20 million in damages.