EXCLUSIVE: 'Of course I'm sorry.' 'Affluenza teen' Ethan Couch finally apologizes for killing four people in drunken crash after weekly jail visits from victim's chaplain best friend who says the privileged young man is not as arrogant as the world thinks

 Tim Williams was beyond devastated when his best friend was killed by 'affluenza teen' Ethan Couch in a drunken crash. He and Brian Jennings had known each other since elementary school - each had been the best man at the other's wedding and both had found their way into the church.

Williams had every reason to hate the 16-year-old who was three times over the legal blood/alcohol level when he mowed down Jennings and three others after a booze-filled evening at the house where his parents had left him to live alone.

But in an act of ultimate forgiveness, Williams, a chaplain in the court system in Fort Worth, Texas, decided instead to forgive and started visiting Couch weekly in prison. 

Now he is about to publish a book about his relationship with Couch with the teen he dubbed 'one of the most hated men in America.' 

Ethan Couch, known as the 'affluenza teen', killed Brian Jennings and three others when he drunkenly smashed his father's truck into an SUV in 2013

Ethan Couch, known as the 'affluenza teen', killed Brian Jennings and three others when he drunkenly smashed his father's truck into an SUV in 2013

Tim Williams, who was best friends with Jennings, has now written a book called Affluenza Forgiven about his relationship with Couch and forgiving him
Brian Jennings

Tim Williams, who was best friends with Jennings, has now written a book called Affluenza Forgiven about his relationship with Couch and forgiving him 

On June 15, 2013, Couch was behind the wheel of his father's red Ford F-350 pick-up, speeding 70mph down the road from his home in Burleson, Texas, where he had hosted a drunken teenage party and crashed, killing four and injuring nine

Couch, now 23, gained notoriety when an expert witness in his case said he suffered from 'affluenza.' Psychologist G. Dick Miller said his millionaire parents had never taught him right from wrong.

Judge Jean Boyd agreed and gave Couch no jail time — merely 10 years' probation with the condition he went to rehab and stayed away from alcohol.

Affluenza Forgiven, published by Emerge Publishing, is available from October 23 - National Forgiveness Day 2020

Affluenza Forgiven, published by Emerge Publishing, is available from October 23 - National Forgiveness Day 2020

But even that was too restrictive for spoiled Ethan. Within two years a picture of him at a beer pong party was posted on Twitter. 

His mother Tonya feared he would be locked up, so mom and son fled to Mexico in a bid to escape justice.

It was only after he was arrested in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta and brought back to Texas that the case was transferred to the adult courts and he was given nearly two years in jail.

In his book, Williams tells how he decided to forgive Ethan Couch rather than vent his anger at him. He visited him dozens of times in the Tarrant County Jail and chronicles how Couch refused to accept his forgiveness for more than a year because he thought he was unworthy.

Williams and Jennings had been friends since elementary school — even though Jennings was older by three years. They appeared together in an award-winning hip-hop dance team and had each was best man at the other's wedding.

At the time of his death, Jennings was happily married with three children. 

'He had so many reasons to live. His untimely death was a blow to me personally and to our entire community,' Williams writes.

Williams, who works as an energy analyst, said the first time he met Couch in jail he didn't like him. 'He was guarded, unapologetic and a bit defensive,' he writes. Couch's first words to him were: ''So, who are you and what do you want?''

But he adds: 'I wasn't there to like him — but rather to love him with the love of God.' 

Breanna Mitchell, 24, was killed alongside three others who had stop to help her when her SUV broke down on the side of the road

Breanna Mitchell, 24, was killed alongside three others who had stop to help her when her SUV broke down on the side of the road 

Mother and daughter Hollie (left) and Shelby Boyles (right) were also killed in the 2013 crash

Mother and daughter Hollie (left) and Shelby Boyles (right) were also killed in the 2013 crash

Sergio Molina, one of Couch's passengers, was paralyzed and can now communicate only by blinking

Sergio Molina, one of Couch's passengers, was paralyzed and can now communicate only by blinking

On his second visit Williams said he asked Couch if he was sorry for the carnage he had created.

'He didn't reply for nearly a minute, and I thought he was going to tell me to go away and not come back,' he writes.

'But finally, he said, ''Of course I'm sorry.''

'Then why don't you say so? People think that you're arrogant and that you don't care,' Williams asked. 

'Do you really think anyone wants to hear me say I'm sorry?' he said, with more than a touch of sarcasm in his voice. 'Would that really make any difference? They all wish I was dead.'

In another passage, Williams writes: 'I've heard people say that Ethan Couch is an arrogant young man who never showed any remorse for the terrible pain he caused.

'But that's never the way he seemed to be to me. In my opinion, Ethan knew exactly what he had done, even though I'm aware that he didn't always look remorseful in photographs or when he appeared on television.

'I'm not saying that he completely understood the pain he caused because I don't think that could be possible.

'But I never saw him smirking or making light of the situation he found himself in. I believe some people have invented such stories as a means of justifying their own anger. Ethan did a careless, stupid, hurtful thing. And he knew it and was ashamed of it.'

Pastor paying visits to ‘affluenza teen’ in jail
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Tarrant County Jail records show that the 22-year-old (pictured, February 2016) was taken into custody Thursday afternoon
Deputies with the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office said Couch (pictured during his release in April 2018) violated his probation by testing positive for THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana

Deputies with the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office said Couch violated his probation by testing positive for THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana. Williams, a chaplain in the court system in Fort Worth, Texas, has decided to forgive and started visiting Couch weekly in prison

Williams told DailyMail.com that he is still in contact with Couch, who is now working for his father's sheet metal company

Williams told DailyMail.com that he is still in contact with Couch, who is now working for his father's sheet metal company

Frederick Couch, from Texas, (pictured), was charged with assault after allegedly trying to choke his girlfriend in September 2019
In April 2019, Tonya Couch, Ethan Couch's mother, was put behind bars for a third time after failing a drug test while awaiting trial

Since Couch was released from jail in April 2018, his family has multiple run-ins with the law. His dad, Frederick, was arrested in September 2019 and his mother, Tonya, was arrested for the third time in April 2019

During one of their jailhouse meetings, Couch told Williams that he had dropped by a friend's house and the beer pong game was already underway. He said he hadn't intended to stay but his friends egged him on. He didn't know one was videotaping him.

'I wasn't completely buying his story that his friends had set him up,' the chaplain writes. 'But I did take heart in the fact that he was willing to talk openly about the situation. I remember thinking, ''Ethan, I think there's hope for you yet.'''

After nearly 18 months, Couch stunned Williams by saying out-of-the-blue that he was ready to accept his offer of forgiveness. 

It was October 28, 2017, unknown to Couch it was the annual National Forgiveness Day. He said: 'It just seems like the right time. I just couldn't do it before and now I can.'

Williams told DailyMail.com that he is still in contact with Couch, who is now working for his father's sheet metal company. 

He said Ethan is still dating pet groomer Hayleigh Shields, who stood by him throughout his time in jail. 

EXCLUSIVE: 'Of course I'm sorry.' 'Affluenza teen' Ethan Couch finally apologizes for killing four people in drunken crash after weekly jail visits from victim's chaplain best friend who says the privileged young man is not as arrogant as the world thinks EXCLUSIVE: 'Of course I'm sorry.' 'Affluenza teen' Ethan Couch finally apologizes for killing four people in drunken crash after weekly jail visits from victim's chaplain best friend who says the privileged young man is not as arrogant as the world thinks Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:42 Rating: 5

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