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Ethan Couch: 'Affluenza' Teen Moved to Adult Court After Mexico Manhunt

Image: Ethan Couch: 'Affluenza' Teen Moved to Adult Court After Mexico Manhunt
In this Feb. 5, 2016, file photo provided by the Tarrant County Sheriff's Department, Ethan Couch, 18, appears in a booking photo, in Fort Worth, Texas. (Tarrant County Sheriff's Department via AP, File)

By    |   Friday, 19 Feb 2016 02:18 PM

Ethan Couch, the Texas “affluenza” teen, will face adult court and the possibility of jail time after Judge Tim Menikos ruled Friday to transfer the case from juvenile court.

The transfer of the case to adult court prevents Couch from aging out of the juvenile system when he turns 19 in April, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

Couch, 18, was sentenced to 10 years' probation for a 2013 drunken driven accident that killed four people when he was 16. The case has drawn national attention after his lawyer presented an "affluenza" defense, which claimed Couch's privileged upbringing prevented him from understanding right from wrong.

Couch turns 19 on April 11, when the transfer of his case to adult court will take effect. A new judge will then determine the terms of his probation, which will continue through February 2024. He has been at Tarrant County’s maximum-security adult facility since Feb. 5, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, disappeared in December after a video surfaced on social media appearing to show the teen at a party where alcohol was served, and he later missed an appointment with his probation officer. Couch and his mother were apprehended in Mexico and returned to Texas.

"Couch could face up to 120 days in jail, then finish his 10-year probation. But if he violates his probation during that time, he could get up to 10 years in prison for each of the four people killed in the accident," The Associated Press reported.

With the transfer to adult court, Couch avoids a series of hearings to determine if he violated his existing probation and the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence, the AP said. While he may face several months in the county jail, he won’t face prison time unless he violates his probation in the future.

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Ethan Couch, the Texas “affluenza” teen, will face adult court and the possibility of jail time after Judge Tim Menikos ruled Friday to transfer the case from juvenile court.
ethan couch, hearing, affluenza
308
2016-18-19
Friday, 19 Feb 2016 02:18 PM
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