A month after a North Texas teen got probation for killing four people while driving drunk, a mother is protesting her son's 12-and-a-half-year sentence for drunk driving and killing a Grapevine Police officer.
Roy Adams, Jr. is behind bars after a jury convicted him in 2004 for intoxication manslaughter. His mother, Laura Ann Jenkins, says the Ethan Couch case is causing her to protest the justice system, and that she'll be out every month picketing in front of the Tarrant County Courthouse until her son is out of prison.
The Tarrant County District Attorney, however, says Adams got a fair trial.
The officer Adams killed, Darren Medlin, was standing next to a car he pulled over for speeding when Adams plowed into him.
Jenkins draws contrast between her son's prison term and 16-year-old Ethan Couch's 10-year probation sentence.
Jenkins says she was shocked when she heard what many had dubbed the "affluenza" defense.
"It's not because Ethan grew up in a privileged home – it's because somebody has influence," said Jenkins.
Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Richard Alpert prosecuted both the Adams case, and the Couch case. Alpert says the intoxication manslaughter crimes have nothing to do with each other.
"So she's comparing her son to a 16-year-old boy," said Alpert. "Her son was 27, 28 when this happened."
There are some major differences in the cases.
Couch was a juvenile and sentenced by a judge, and Adams was an adult and sentenced by a jury of his peers.
The victims in any fatal drunk driving cases are the families; the survivors who live with the loss of their loved ones.
Gina Medlin, the widow of Officer Medlin says she's furious that Jenkins is using the Ethan Couch case as a public platform for her personal protest.
"She's standing up in the wrong place," said Medlin. "She needs to be in the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers [sic[ and tend telling everybody what it feels like to have a son who murdered someone under the influence of alcohol, a legal thing that is out there, but he abused it and killed my husband."
Adams has served eight years of his sentence. Jenkins plans to protest the first Monday of every month in front of the Tarrant County Courthouse.
Adams has also has been denied parole because he will not admit to the offense.
Jenkins says her son had a seizure when he crashed into Officer Medlin, killing him, and was not intoxicated. However, the assistant district attorney says that was disputed during the trial.
A blood test also shows that Adams had a blood alcohol level of .11 and was over the limit.
KDFW FOX 4
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