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Judge moves affluenza teen’s case to adult court; victims’ families still suffer

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Ethan Couch is led from Tarrant County Juvenile Court after a hearing that moved his case to adult court. (Colt Stewart/KDAF)

Ethan Couch is led from Tarrant County Juvenile Court after a hearing that moved his case to adult court. (Colt Stewart/KDAF)

FORT WORTH - Ethan Couch, the affluenza teen, was in Tarrant County Court for a judge to decide if his case would be transferred to adult court.

Couch’s lawyers didn’t even try to fight it.

The judge sent Couch back to jail, at least until his case officially goes into adult court, which should happen sometime  in April before Couch turn 19.

Alexander Lemus hoped something would be different this time. He wanted Couch to see, in person, how his actions affected his brother Sergio’s life.

Sergio Molina (center) with mother and brother, outside the Tarrant County Juvenile court. Molina was paralyzed in Ethan Couch’s 2013 drunk driving crash. (Colt Stewart/KDAF)

Sergio Molina (center) with mother and brother, outside the Tarrant County Juvenile court. Molina was paralyzed in Ethan Couch’s 2013 drunk driving crash. (Colt Stewart/KDAF)

But Sergio was paralyzed in Couch’s crash when Couch was 16. Taking him anywhere is an ordeal. Sergio’s mother, Maria, tried to get to court on time, but Couch was gone before Sergio arrived.

Sergio’s family wanted everyone to see.

“Can you try to smile and tell them that no matter what happened, you’re still here?” Lemus said, addressing his brother in front of a crowd of reporters and photojournalists outside the courthouse. “That you still got dreams of playing soccer, man! Can you tell ’em? Look at my brother. He’s doing more than a 28-day period, or 128, or whatever. He’s doing more than 10 years on probation.”

But after Couch turns 19, whether he serves one day or 10 years, the family members of Sergio Molina and the other victims are stuck with a life sentence.