The Latest: ‘Affluenza’ teen’s attorney won’t request terms
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The latest on the case of “affluenza” teenager Ethan Couch (all times local):
An attorney representing the teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck says he will not ask for any specific probation terms when an adult court takes up the case.
Following a hearing in which a juvenile-court judge transferred Ethan Couch’s probation to an adult court, Scott Brown said an adult-court judge “will impose the terms he sees fit.”
The 18-year-old could face 120 days in jail, then finish his 10-year probation. A hearing to set his probation terms has not yet been scheduled.
Ethan Couch’s father, Fred Couch, attended the hearing, as did other relatives. Two survivors were also there, along with relatives of people who were killed.
A Texas judge says the case of a teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck will be moved to adult court.
Ethan Couch was 16 at the time of the 2013 crash that killed four people near Fort Worth. During his juvenile trial, a defense expert invoked the term “affluenza” while arguing Couch’s wealthy parents had coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility.
The Friday ruling means the 18-year-old could face 120 days in jail, then finish his 10-year probation. If he violates his probation during that time, he could get up to 10 years in prison for each crash victim.
Couch and his mother disappeared in December, as prosecutors investigated whether he’d violated his probation. They were later found in Mexico and deported.
A Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck is set to appear in court for a hearing over whether his case should be transferred to the adult system.
Eighteen-year-old Ethan Couch is due in court Friday in Fort Worth.
He could face up to 120 days in jail as part of the terms of adult probation. A ruling keeping him in the juvenile system could trigger hearings in which Couch could either go free or be sent to prison for 10 years when he turns 19.
Couch’s attorney has said he won’t challenge a transfer to adult court.
Authorities say Couch and his mother fled to Mexico in December, as prosecutors investigated whether he violated his probation in the 2013 wreck that killed four people.