'Affluenza' Teen Ethan Couch Sentenced to Nearly 2 Years in Jail for Violating Probation
Ethan Couch, the teen who used a controversial “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken driving trial, has been ordered to spend nearly two years in jail by a Texas judge.
Couch, now 19, must spend 180 days for each of the four people killed in a 2013 car crash involving the teen, who was driving under the influence, Tarrant County Criminal Court Judge Wayne Salvant ruled Wednesday, according to CBS News.
Couch and his mother fled the U.S. for Mexico in December and extradited back to Texas in January. He has been held in solitary confinement since then at a maximum-security prison.
In 2013, when he was 16, Couch slammed his car into a SUV on the side of a road, killing four people and injuring nine others. The teen’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit for driving.
He pleaded guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury. His lawyers claimed the teen’s rich parents had so spoiled him that he had no sense of responsibility.
A juvenile judge sentenced him to 10 years of probation, a ruling that ignited a national backlash.
When he and his mother left the country, prosecutors were investigating a video that showed Couch at a party where alcohol was being served. Under the terms of his probation, the teen was not allowed to drink or to be around alcohol.
His mother, Tonya Couch, is under house arrest and has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon.