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Affluenza Teen to Be Released from Jail after Two Years
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Photo courtesy of South China Morning Post.

Summary: The Affluenza Teen will be released from jail on Monday. 

A teenager whose wealthy background was blamed for him killing four people will be released from jail after serving two years. Dubbed the “Affluenza Teen,” Ethan Couch drove drunk in 2013 and killed four people, and he shocked the world when he was only given probation for his crime.


Couch is scheduled to be released on Monday, according to Business Insider.

Couch’s case made international headlines because his legal team argued that he was not at fault for drunk driving in June 2013 because his privileged background ruined him. His lawyer said that his wealth impaired his ability to gauge what was right and wrong, and the court psychologist said he suffered from a case of “affluenza.”

Couch’s affluenza defense worked, and he was given 10 years of probation, sparking public outrage. Critics of the case said that Couch was an example of wealth being able to shield a person from consequence, and the media found the affluenza defense ridiculous and tragic.

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The psychologist who testified at trial told CNN that he regretted saying “affluenza” in court after the worldwide ridicule. He clarified that his intention at trial was to talk about how Couch’s entitlement stemmed from his wealthy upbringing and that he wasn’t fully aware of his actions.

“I wish I hadn’t used that term. Everyone seems to have hooked onto it,” G. Dick Miller said. “We used to call these people spoiled brats.”

In late 2015, a social media video surfaced of Couch partying, which was a violation of his probation, and he and his mother, Tonya Couch, fled to Mexico to avoid trouble, further proving that he really was raised by a terrible family.

Couch and his mother were apprehended in Mexico, and he was thrown in jail.

In 2016, a judge changed Couch’s probation sentence to 720 days in jail, 180 days for each of his victims.

A spokesperson for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers told CNN that Couch’s case was a “grave injustice.” In 2013, Couch, then 16, drove his pickup truck with a blood alcohol level that was three times the legal limit. He crashed his car into another car, killing the four people inside.

“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,” MADD said.

Business Insider said that Couch will remain on probation after he is freed from Tarrant County Jail in Texas.

A volunteer chaplain, Tim Williams, told the Star-Telegram in Dallas that he has seen Couch change in jail.

“I haven’t seen arrogance in Ethan in more than nine months,” Williams said.

Tonya Couch, 50, is on bond and is awaiting a trial for helping her son flee to Mexico.

What do you think of the Affluenza Teen? Let us know in the comments below.


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