Affluenza teen Ethan Couch released from jail after 2 years

03 April, 2018, 03:01 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • 'Affluenza teen' Ethan Couch prepares to leave jail Monday

The Texas man known for his "affluenza" defense when he was given probation for killing four people in a 2013 drunken-driving crash was released on Monday after serving two years for violating his probation.

Rather than hand Couch up to 20 years in jail, as prosecutors had sought, the judge issued what was perceived to be a lenient sentence: 10 years' probation and mandatory rehab.

A psychologist testifying for the teen said Couch was suffering from what he called "affluenza".

Couch was released a few days before his 21st birthday and will remain under strict probation supervision, the county sheriff's office has said.

But in late 2015, when a social media video showed him in possible violation of his drug-and-drink-free probation, he and mum Tonya Couch fled to Mexico, where they were later arrested and deported after trying to order a Dominos.


Five years ago, couch, who was 16 at the time, killed four people while driving under the influence of alcohol.

At the time of the crash in Texas, Couch had a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal limit for an adult. The defense claimed that children raised in affluent families are irresponsible and entitled because their parents did not establish appropriate boundaries for them, according to a USA Today analysis of the defense. As he completes his probation sentence he'll be fitted for a Global Positioning System and alcohol monitor, and adhere to a curfew requiring him to stay home between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. everyday. An worldwide search for the pair ensued but it ended when authorities tracked them down to a "resort town in Puerto Vallarta after they used a cellphone to order a pizza from Domino's", according to The Dallas Morning News. State District Judge Wayne Salvant had warned Tonya Couch last June to "use common sense" pending her trial on hindering apprehension of a felon and money laundering charges.

Couch's mother, Tonya, is now awaiting trial on a range of charges, and is being held in the same jail. The twist is, that she was sent to the same jail as her son. Court documents say she failed a urine analysis test for drugs.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving described the two years Couch has spent in jail as "a grave injustice to the victims and their families".

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