Relaymedia

Ethan Couch's 'Affluenza' Case Moves to Adult Court; What the Transfer Means to Him

( [email protected] ) Feb 21, 2016 09:46 PM EST
The case of Texas teenager who killed four people and injured nine others may soon move to adult court. On Friday, Judge Tim Menikos order the case be transferred before the "affluenza teen" turns 19 in April. Now, here are the latest developments of the so-called "affluenza case."
Ethan Couch is seen in a February 5, 2016 booking photo released by the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department in Ft Worth, Texas. REUTERS/Tarrant County Sheriff's Department/Handout via Reuters

The case of Texas teenager who killed four people and injured nine others may soon move to adult court. On Friday, Judge Tim Menikos order the case be transferred before the "affluenza teen" turns 19 in April. Now, here are the latest developments of the so-called "affluenza case."

After the case is transferred to the adult system, Couch would face up to 120 days in jail. But if he violates the probation again, the juvenile system could punish him for up to 4 decades in adult prison once he turns 19.

120 days in jail is part of an adult sentence for Couch's 2013 drunk-driving crash, which killed four people. In addition, he should also face the remainder of the 10-year probation he received in 2013. If violates that probation, he could face a bigger punishment: 10 years in prison for each crash victim - 40 years in all. That jail time would be a condition from the adult system.

As of now, Couch is held in the Tarrant County's maximum-security jail. The teen is also in solitary confinement 23 hours per day. In 2013, Couch --16 years old during that time--was driving drunk when he killed four and injured nine.

During his trial, Couch's attorneys argued that the teen's wealthy parents didn't teach him right from wrong. In order to prove that, a doctor testifying for the defense called the circumstance as "affluenza."

At the time of the accident, Couch was three times over the legal limit. Moreover, defense attorneys stated that he had been taught by his parents that wealth buys privilege.

According to Christian Monitor, if the Texas judge decides not to move the case to the adult system and determines Couch did not in violate his probation, then the teen is pretty much off the hook. After the Friday's hearing, he would go free and remain on probation until he turns 19 years old.

On the other hand, after the decision was handed down, Alex Lemus said Couch has "already won," CBS News published. Lumus' brother Sergio Molina became paralyzed after the car accident and can communicate only by blinking his eye.

"You have not seen what we have to do every day to keep my brother alive," Lemus said, "Look at my brother, he's doing more than 10 years on probation."

The term affluenza is a combination of influenza and affluence. Experts say it is a condition when a person's wealth can affect their psyche and decision-making ability.


Tags : affluenza teen, affluenza case update, affluenza case decision, Ethan Couch, car crash, drunk driving