'Affluenza Teen' Ethan Couch Released From Jail After Nearly 2 Years

Ethan Couch, the Texas man who used a controversial "affluenza" defense after killing four people in a drunken driving incident, is now free.
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Ethan Couch, the Texas man who used a controversial "affluenza" defense after killing four people in a drunken driving incident, is now free. 

Couch, now 20, was released from jail Monday after serving two years sentenced to two years in a Tarrant County jail for violating probation conditions that were set after he pleaded guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter in the 2013 case.

A psychologist involved in the case said during the trial that Couch, then 16, was a product of "affluenza," or an affluent upbringing that led to his irresponsible behavior. Couch’s blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit on the night of the crash.

He was sentenced to 10 years of probation and time in a rehabilitation center, but in 2015 he failed to check-in with his probation officer. Investigators discovered he had fled to Mexico with his mother, Tonya Couch. He was extradited and later sentenced to 720 days in jail for the violation.

After leaving jail, Couch met with probation officers, ABC News reported.

"[Couch] will now serve the remaining six years of his period of community supervision under the terms and conditions imposed by the court," his lawyers, Scott Brown and Reagan Wynn, said in a statement to the news station.

Couch has requested privacy as he focuses on “successfully completing his community supervision and going forward as a law-abiding citizen," his attorneys said.

After she was discovered in Mexico with her son, Couch’s mother was charged with hindering apprehension of a known felon and money laundering. Her attorney has said she will plead not guilty to the charges against her. 

She was released on bond, but last week violated the conditions of her release when she allegedly failed a court-ordered drug test.

She was booked into the same jail as her son days before his release. Tonya Couch’s trial is set to begin in May. 

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