'Affluenza teen' Ethan Couch expected to be released from jail
03 April, 2018, 03:16
Escorted by his attorney, Couch, 20, was released from jail Monday morning as dozens of media outlets - both local and national media - greeted him as he left the Tarrant County Community Supervision and Corrections Department.
Couch had been serving four consecutive 180-day stints in jail - for a total of 720 days - as a condition of his probation, which was modified by Judge Wayne Salvant in 2016 when Couch's case was transferred from juvenile to adult court. Couch's blood-alcohol level was three times the legal limit on the night of the crash.
Several people were seriously injured, including Sergio Molina, who was riding in the back of Couch's truck and was flung on impact. One of those passengers was left permanently paralyzed.
After almost two years behind bars the North Texas teen whose lawyers used an "affulenza" defense during his Intoxication Manslaughter trial in 2013 is set to be released from prison today.
But Couch escape a jail sentence because a psychologist testified that he suffered from "affluenza", a non-clinical term for "a psychological malaise supposedly affecting wealthy young people, symptoms of which include a lack of motivation, feelings of guilt, and a sense of isolation".
A psychologist involved in the case said during the trial that Couch, then 16, was a product of "affluenza", or an affluent upbringing that led to his irresponsible behavior. Critics of the case said that Couch was an example of wealth being able to shield a person from outcome, and the media found the affluenza defense ridiculous and tragic.
Many argue it was his wealthy parents, who paid to have their son's jail sentences dropped, and have him placed on probation.
Ethan thought his probation would be revoked because he was drinking, again, underage, so he and his mother headed to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Couch will remain under strict probation supervision, the county sheriff's office has said, even with his 21st birthday being only nine days away.
Couch was filmed attending a party in late 2015, which may have constituted a violation of his parole. During that time, he will not be allowed to drink, use drugs or drive. I don't want to figure out how I can get around my probation.
Couch's mother was arrested last week after failing a test for drugs and alcohol.