Judge confirms two-year jail sentence for Texas 'affluenza teen'

By Amy R. Connolly  |  May 12, 2016 at 7:14 AM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, May 12 (UPI) -- A Texas judge reaffirmed a two-year jail sentence for "affluenza teen" Ethan Couch after he violated his juvenile probation for a 2013 drunk-driving crash that left four dead.

The judge's ruling comes after he ordered the jail time in April but gave Couch's legal team time to argue against it. Couch, 19, will spend 180 days in jail for each of the four people killed in the crash for a total of 720 days.

Colleen Sheehey-Church, the national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said, the ruling is a "small victory." Greg Coontz, an attorney for two victims' families, said, "the only silver lining would be if he made something out of his life and helped others."

Couch was 16 and had a blood-alcohol content of three times the Texas legal limit for an adult when he plowed into two vehicles on the side of the road -- one disabled -- and a group of people standing nearby. He killed four people and injured a total of nine, including two passengers in his own truck.

He was sentenced to 10 years probation and ordered to stay away from drugs and alcohol. His sentence was seen as lenient due to his "affluenza" defense that his parents were too wealthy and he was too spoiled to understand the consequences of his actions.

Couch fled to Mexico with his mother in early December after a video surfaced purportedly showing him at a party where a beer-drinking game was being played, a possible parole violation. He and his mother, Tonya Couch, were found in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Dec. 28 after a two-week search.

On April 11, when Couch turned 19, his case was transferred to adult court.

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