‘Affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch ordered to serve nearly 2 years in jail


Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who used an infamous “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunk-driving wreck, has been ordered to serve 720 days in a county jail.

Judge Wayne Salvant announced he is ordering Couch to serve four 180-day terms consecutively, one for each of the four people who died in a 2013 drunk driving wreck involving the now 19-year-old. The judge gave Couch’s attorneys two weeks to prepare arguments related to the sentences.

In addition, Salvant set several conditions for Couch’s probation when he does get out of jail. He will not be allowed to drink, use drugs or drive, and he will be required to meet regularly with a community supervision officer.

A juvenile court judge originally sentenced Couch only to probation. The case garnered international headlines when it was revealed that a psychologist hired by the defense testified that the teen was a product of “affluenza,” a term used to explain that Ethan’s irresponsible behavior was based on his affluent upbringing.

In December, Couch made headlines again for all the wrong reasons when he and his mother, Tonya Couch, fled the country while prosecutors investigated whether a video showing Couch at a party where alcohol was available, was in violation of his parole.

Couch was brought back to the U.S. in late January. He’s spent most of his days since then in solitary confinement, a move made to help keep Couch safe while imprisoned.

On April 11, Couch’s 19th birthday, his case was officially transferred from juvenile court to the adult legal system.

Tonya Couch remains under house arrest after being charged with helping Ethan Couch flee. She faces between 2-10 years in prison if convicted of hindering the apprehension of a felon.

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