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FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A North Texas teen from an affluent family was sentenced to probation this week after he killed four pedestrians when he lost control of his speeding pickup truck while driving drunk, a punishment that outraged the victims' families and left prosecutors disappointed.
The 16-year-old boy was sentenced Tuesday in a Fort Worth juvenile court to 10 years of probation after he confessed to intoxication manslaughter in the June 15 crash on a dark rural road.
Prosecutors had sought the maximum 20 years in state custody for the Keller teen, but his attorneys appealed to state District Judge Jean Boyd that the teenager needed rehabilitation not prison, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (http://(link tracking not allowed)/1f8GnvQ ) reported.
If the boy continues to be cushioned by his family's wealth, another tragedy is inevitable, prosecutor Richard Alpert said in court.
"There can be no doubt that he will be in another courthouse one day blaming the lenient treatment he received here," Alpert said.
Authorities said the teen and friends were seen on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer from a store. He had seven passengers in his Ford F-350, was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit, according to testimony during the trial. His pickup truck slammed into the four pedestrians, killing Brian Jennings, a 43-year-old Burleson youth minister; Breanna Mitchell of Lillian, 24; Shelby Boyles, 21; and her 52-year-old mother, Hollie Boyles.
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