Ethan Couch of 'affluenza' case released from jail

Ethan Couch, known for his "affluenza" defense in his deadly drunk driving case, was released from a...

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 3:57 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2018 3:57 PM

Ethan Couch, known for his "affluenza" defense in his deadly drunk driving case, was released from a Texas jail Monday after serving nearly two years behind bars for violating his probation.

Couch, 20, first made headlines as a teenager when he was sentenced to probation for a drunken driving crash that killed four people and seriously injured two others.

Ethan Couch served nearly two years in jail for violating probation

Couch's defense during 2013 trial used infamous "affluenza" argument

Prosecutors in that 2013 case sought 20 years in jail, but Couch received no prison time after a psychologist testified that Couch was a victim of "affluenza," a product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for him.

The decision by the juvenile court judge to put him on probation for 10 years outraged victims' families and anti-drunk driving advocates.

In 2015, Couch violated the terms of his probation and fled to Mexico with his mother, Tonya Couch. They were found and sent back to the US, where a Texas judge ordered nearly two years of jail time for Couch.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving described the two years Couch has spent in jail as "a grave injustice to the victims and their families."

"The 720 days Ethan Couch served for his crimes shows that drunk driving homicides still aren't treated as the violent crimes that they are," the organization said in a statement.

It vowed to keep monitoring the case because it "brought to light that there is so much more work to be done to hold drunk drivers accountable."

As part of Couch's current probation, he will be required to wear an ankle monitor, an alcohol detecting patch, submit to drug testing, abide by a 9 p.m. curfew and have a video interlock ignition device installed in his vehicle, according to Mike Simonds of the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office.

Couch's mother is currently facing charges of money laundering and hindering apprehension of a felon for helping her son flee to Mexico. Tonya Couch recently had her bond revoked after failing a drug test and is behind bars in the Tarrant County Jail, the sheriff's office said last week.

The deadly wreck

In June 2013, the pickup truck that Couch, then 16, was driving plowed into four pedestrians on a road in Burleson, Texas, authorities had said.

Hollie Boyles, and daughter, Shelby, had left their home to help Breanna Mitchell, whose SUV had broken down. Brian Jennings, a youth pastor, was driving past and also stopped to help. They were all killed.

Two people riding in the bed of the pickup were tossed in the crash and severely injured. One of them suffered a brain injury and filed a lawsuit against the Couch family, which was settled.

Three hours after the crash, tests showed Couch had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, three times the legal limit, according to the district attorney's office.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
62° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 62°
Florence
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 66°
Fayetteville
Overcast
62° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 62°
Decatur
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 60°
Scottsboro
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18772333
Mobile12975289
Montgomery8598173
Madison742275
Tuscaloosa7081114
Lee560359
Shelby557250
Baldwin503348
Marshall378442
Etowah330645
Calhoun324939
Morgan314226
Houston264422
Elmore249747
DeKalb232619
St. Clair219835
Walker219180
Talladega203426
Limestone194219
Cullman180817
Franklin173428
Dallas173226
Russell16922
Autauga166424
Lauderdale161633
Colbert158126
Escambia155424
Blount152714
Jackson148511
Chilton146327
Covington130327
Dale130043
Coffee12488
Pike11359
Tallapoosa112983
Chambers111742
Clarke104617
Marion92128
Butler90638
Barbour8247
Marengo69619
Winston68712
Lowndes64527
Pickens62814
Bibb61910
Hale61028
Randolph59112
Bullock58514
Lawrence57820
Monroe5738
Geneva5564
Cherokee54816
Washington54513
Perry5366
Clay5317
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw51931
Conecuh51711
Macon46720
Henry4594
Sumter41719
Fayette4159
Choctaw34412
Lamar3372
Cleburne3166
Greene30015
Coosa1603
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 180497

Reported Deaths: 2196
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby29702443
Davidson25798287
Hamilton898589
Rutherford886987
Knox872671
Williamson501936
Sumner462193
Wilson330839
Putnam296537
Montgomery291841
Out of TN287623
Bradley280016
Unassigned27806
Madison256856
Sevier249313
Blount241123
Maury217822
Robertson214134
Washington210732
Sullivan202631
Hamblen182425
Tipton170417
Trousdale16457
Hardeman151225
Wayne14785
Gibson146419
Bedford128716
Dyer124613
Dickson116612
Cumberland112616
Fayette111017
Carter110627
Anderson110311
Loudon10936
Weakley109118
Henderson108919
Greene107536
Obion10609
Coffee105712
Jefferson104614
McMinn102824
Macon100019
Warren9967
Monroe98716
Hardin94114
Lawrence93011
Lauderdale92314
Haywood89616
Lake8682
Franklin8627
Bledsoe8424
Roane8123
Carroll80616
Cheatham78110
McNairy77816
Rhea76311
White7528
Hawkins74216
Cocke7249
Marshall6974
Smith66310
Overton6623
Johnson6332
Henry5909
Chester5699
Lincoln5661
Giles54717
DeKalb54210
Hickman5074
Crockett49519
Marion4887
Decatur4526
Claiborne4194
Campbell4123
Fentress4063
Polk37111
Grainger3372
Benton3299
Union3211
Morgan2993
Jackson2984
Unicoi2701
Cannon2630
Humphreys2213
Grundy2195
Meigs2163
Sequatchie2162
Scott1942
Clay1765
Houston1710
Lewis1681
Stewart1462
Van Buren1460
Moore1451
Perry1380
Hancock1062
Pickett952

Community Events