'Affluenza' teen Ethan couch to remain in juvenile detention

By Daniel Uria  |  Jan. 29, 2016 at 1:47 PM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A judge ruled so-called "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch will remain in a Fort Worth, Texas, juvenile detention center until his next court hearing in February.

The judge decided on Friday to not have the 18-year-old, who killed four people in a drunk driving crash, moved to an adult court after being extradited to the United States from Mexico.

Couch returned to the United States on Thursday after he and his mother fled to Mexico. The two left perhaps in reaction to a video which appeared to show him violating his probation. The judge decided to wait until Feb. 19 to determine if Couch will be moved to adult court and therefore face more severe punishment for his alleged violation.

Couch's defense attorney Scott Brown said he returned to the United States due to concern for his future and also added that he felt remorse for his actions.

"Of course Ethan is remorseful," he said to WFAA-TV in Dallas. "He can never make these families whole."

Several of the victims' family members attended the Friday hearing, including Tim McLaughlin who disagreed with Brown's statement.

"When you flee the country, that doesn't show remorse," he said.

In juvenile court Couch faces 120 days in jail if found guilty of violating his probation.

"Our goal is to put him in the adult system and wait for him to do what I believe he will do," prosecutor Richard Alpert said.

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