Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

January 10, 2014

Civil suits against Couch family combined

Five of the six civil lawsuits filed against Ethan Couch, his parents and his father’s company in connection with the June 15 drunk driving accident that killed four and injured several others have been consolidated and transferred to the 96th state District Court in Tarrant County, according to reports published in a Fort Worth newspaper.

Ethan Couch admitted in during a criminal trial in Tarrant County juvenile court last month that he caused the crash, that involved four vehicles, on Burleson-Retta Road. He also admitted that he had been drinking and tests performed about two hours after the wreck showed that the 16-year-old had a blood-alcohol content about three times the legal limit.

Couch was tried on four counts of intoxication manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years probation, including at least two years of intensive rehabilitative therapy. Tarrant County District Attorney Joe Shannon Jr. has said he intends to also try the teenager on two counts of intoxication assault.

Killed in the crash were Burleson youth minister Brian Jennings, mother and daughter Hollie and Shelby Boyles and budding chef Breanna Mitchell. Brian Jennings’ wife, Shauna Jennings, Hollie Boyles’ husband and surviving daughter, Eric Boyles and Marguerite Boyles, and Breana Mitchell’s mother, Marla Mitchell, have all filed civil suits against Couch, his parents, Fred and Tonya Couch, and Fred Couch’s company, Cleburne Metal Works.

The families of three teens injured in the crash —Sergio Molina, Lucas McConnell and Isaiah McLaughlin — have also filed civil suits. Molina was a passenger in Ethan Couch’s truck. McLaughlin and McConnell were passengers in Brian Jennings’ truck.

All of those suits except for the most recent, filed by Timothy and Priscilla McLaughlin, were consolidated this week.

A fourth teen, Solaiman Mohman, has filed a petition to intervene in Shauna Jennings’ lawsuit.

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