MADD Petition: Send 'Affluenza' Kid to Adult Court

Ethan Couch's case is currently still in juvenile court
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2016 12:50 PM CST
MADD Petition: Send Affluenza Kid to Adult Court
This Dec. 28, 2015, photo released by Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office shows who authorities identify as Ethan Couch, after he was taken into custody in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.   (Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office via AP)

Mad that "affluenza teen" Ethan Couch avoided jail time after killing four people in a drunk driving crash, and now faces a grand total of just 120 days in jail even after allegedly violating his probation and then fleeing the country? So is MADD. Mothers Against Drunk Driving has started a petition demanding Couch's case be moved to adult court and is looking to get 30,000 signatures by Jan. 19. That's the day of a hearing set to decide whether the case will indeed move to adult court or remain in juvenile court; Couch, 18, was 16 at the time of his DUI crash, Fox News reports.

"Couch is no child. His actions are not that of a child," the petition reads. "The nation has watched with anger and disdain as Couch continues to show blatant disregard for the law. The families impacted will never have their loved ones back. Couch must be treated like the adult he is." If Couch's case remains in juvenile court, then upon his return from Mexico (he's currently still fighting deportation to the US), he can only be held until his 19th birthday in April. If his case is transferred to adult court, he could get the aforementioned 120 days. But it would also mean he could end up on adult probation beyond his 19th birthday, a MADD statement notes; if he violates that, he could end up in prison for up to 40 years, the Dallas Morning News reports. (More Ethan Couch stories.)

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