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Judge Moves Affluenza Teen’s Case to Adult Court; Victims’ Families Still Suffer

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FORT WORTH -- Alexander Lemus showed up at Tarrant County Juvenile Court on Friday, just like he has, time after time, for Ethan Couch's hearings.

He's just one of many family members of people who were injured or killed when 16-year-old Couch got drunk and crashed his truck.

This time, the affluenza teen was in 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 'til his case officially goes into adult court, which will happen sometime before Couch's 19th birthday in April.

Alexander Lemus hoped something would be different this time.

He wanted Ethan 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.

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's mother, Maria, tried to get to court on time.

But Sergio was paralyzed in Ethan Couch's crash. Taking him anywhere is an ordeal. 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?"

Someone in the crowd said they saw Sergio move his leg. Others only saw blinking of his eyes.

"Look at my brother," Lemus said. "He's doing more than a 28-day period, or 128, or whatever. He's doing more than 10 years on probation."

It's easy to mock Ethan Couch.
The affluenza defense.
The beer pong video.
The trip to Mexico.

For now, he's in a cell by himself, for his own protection.

But after he turns 19, whether he serves 1 day or 10 years, the families of Sergio Molina and the other victims are stuck with a life sentence.