Affluenza Teen Will Spend 2 More Years in Jail

Texas judge upholds Ethan Couch ruling
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2016 12:56 AM CDT
Affluenza Teen Will Spend 2 More Years in Jail
Ethan Couch is brought into court for a hearing at Tim Curry Justice Center in Fort Worth, Texas last month.   (Max Faulkner/Star-Telegram via AP, Pool)

"Affluenza teen" Ethan Couch is going to be 21 years old by the time he gets out of jail. A Texas judge who had suggested he might reconsider his ruling affirmed it on Wednesday, meaning the 19-year-old will serve 180 days behind bars for each of the four people he killed while driving drunk on June 15, 2013, reports Reuters. Couch—who was sentenced to 10 years' probation as a juvenile and fled to Mexico with his mother last year after an apparent violation—had his case moved to adult court earlier this year. A spokesman for Sheriff Dee Anderson says the ruling means Couch will stay in Tarrant County Jail’s maximum security facility, where he has been held since Feb. 5, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Greg Coontz, an attorney for the families of two crash victims, tells the Star-Telegram that this is the first time Couch has had to face real consequences for his actions, which also injured 12 people. He says "time will tell" if Couch can stick to strict probation conditions for seven years after he gets out of jail. "After years of heartbreak, this is a small victory," MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church said in a statement. "But we can never say that we won. No one ever wins in drunk driving crashes. No one can win when someone kills or injures innocent people." The group had earlier urged the judge to uphold his 720-day order, saying it was time for Couch's defense team "to stop weaseling their way around justice." (Read more Ethan Couch stories.)

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