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Judge orders ‘affluenza’ records turned over

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POSTED May 30, 2014 9:13 p.m.

DALLAS (AP) — A Texas judge ordered attorneys for the North Texas teenager who killed four people in a deadly wreck to turn over the records of the psychologist who claimed the teen had “affluenza.”

Judge R.H. Wallace Jr. on Thursday ruled that Ethan Couch’s attorneys had to produce the records in a lawsuit filed by the family of a boy injured in last year’s crash. One of Couch’s lawyers said Friday that they would likely appeal the order.

Couch was 16 years old when he drunkenly rammed a pickup truck into a crowd of people, killing four. He was given probation and is receiving treatment at the state hospital in Vernon, Texas, north of Dallas.

The family of Lucas McConnell, a boy injured in the crash, is seeking records of Dr. Dick Miller, a North Texas psychologist whose testimony last year became notorious when he claimed Couch’s wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility — a condition he called “affluenza.”

McConnell’s family’s lawyers want to take Miller’s testimony again in a deposition. They also want to obtain depositions from Couch and his parents.

Wallace ordered Couch’s attorneys to provide him with Miller’s records as well as records from a private California facility where Couch is believed to have been treated for substance abuse. The judge said he would review the records and decide whether they should be given to McConnell’s side.

Michael Yanof, an attorney for Couch, said Friday he would likely file a request with a state appeals court to overturn Wallace’s order before the June 27 deadline to turn over the records.

Wallace did not immediately rule on whether Miller will have to testify again.

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