- “Affluenza Teen” to spend only two years behind bars for the four victims he killed.
- After Ethan Couch, then 16, rammed a pickup truck into a crowd of people, with a blood alcohol level three times above the legal limit, he was arrested and put on probation.
- Couch was then seen breaking probation by being at a party that had alcohol.
- Was not Couch’s first run in with the law, at 15 he was pulled over for driving with a naked woman and open alcohol containers in the car.
A judge on Wednesday ordered so-called “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch to spend two years behind bars, just two days after Couch celebrated his 19th birthday in a Texas jail cell.
Couch was appearing in adult court Wednesday for the first time, as he is no longer considered a juvenile.
Judge Wayne Salvant sentenced Couch to four consecutive 180-day sentences (720 total days) – one for each victim he killed. It was not clear if that would include the time Couch has already spent in jail.
Couch was originally sentenced to probation for killing four people and seriously injuring two others in June 2013 when the then-16-year-old rammed a pickup truck into a crowd of people helping a disabled motorist. His blood-alcohol level was three times above the legal limit for adult drivers. Attorneys for Couch argued that his affluent life contributed to his reckless actions, with one defense psychologist using the term “affluenza.”
Couch, however, appeared to violate the terms of his probation when he was seen at a party where alcohol was being served in an online video. After the video became public, Couch and his mother fled to Mexico in December. He was eventually captured and returned to the U.S. in January.
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Salvant told prosecution and defense attorneys they had two weeks to review the ruling and see if they could “change my mind” about the sentence.
The 2013 fatal wreck wasn’t Couch’s first run-in with the law.
At 15, Couch was given two citations after a police officer found him behind the wheel of a pickup truck next to a half-naked girl, with an open vodka bottle on the back seat floor.
“I spoke with him at some length about the various consequences of his driving and drinking,” a police officer wrote in a report, “such as effects on (his) driver’s license and his path in life, especially DWI and even killing someone in a DWI.”
Couch’s father, Fred, runs a roofing and construction company and has faced lawsuits over a $100,000 debt and allegations of sexual harassment. Tonya, Couch’s mother, has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon for helping Ethan flee to Mexico.
Dr. Dick Miller, the psychologist who suggested Couch had “affluenza,” blamed Couch’s parents at his sentencing for having “taught him a system that’s 180 degrees from rational. If you hurt someone, say you’re sorry. In that family, if you hurt someone, send some money.”
Source: Fox News