A judge has ordered a Texas teenager who used an ‘affluenza’ defence in a fatal drink-driving case to serve nearly two years in jail.
Ethan Couch, appearing in adult court for the first time after he turned 19 on Monday, received 180 days for each of the four deaths he caused in a June 2013 crash.
Couch had always faced the prospect of adult jail time as part of his probation once his case had moved out of the juvenile system. Prosecutors did not ask the judge to declare Couch had violated his juvenile probation by fleeing to Mexico with his mother, or to consider it in his ruling.
The initial sentence of 10 years of probation that Couch received in juvenile court outraged prosecutors and relatives of the victims.
His lawyers argued he suffered ‘affluenza’ — meaning his wealthy upbringing made him irresponsible.
Couch lost control of his family’s pickup truck after he and his friends had played beer pong and drank stolen beer . He veered into a crowd of people helping the driver of a disabled vehicle on the side of the road.
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