Texas authorities seek teen who invoked ‘affluenza’ defense

22 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arrest Warrant Issued for ‘Affluenza’ Teen Who Avoided Jail Time After Killing Four in Drunk-Driving Accident.

DALLAS (AP) — Authorities are investigating whether a teenager who killed four people in a 2013 drunken-driving wreck — and claimed as part of his defense that he suffered from “affluenza” — has fled with his mother to avoid a potential violation of his probation. Ethan Couch, the “affluenza” teen who received only a 10-year probation for killing four people after driving drunk, has reportedly disappeared, prompting authorities to issue an arrest warrant. Prosecutors said Wednesday they’re trying to determine whether Ethan Couch, 18, was one of the people drinking at a party in a video posted on social media earlier this month.

But Couch’s lawyers say that authorities have been unable to contact Couch or his mother, Tonya Couch. “We have recently learned that, for the last several days, the juvenile probation officer has been unable to make contact with Ethan or his mother with whom he has been residing,” Couch’s lawyers, Scott Brown and Reagan Wynn told ABC News. “It is our understanding that the court has issued a directive to apprehend, to have Ethan detained because he is out of contact with his probation officer.” Couch’s probation officer attempted to make contact with him after a video surfaced on Twitter two weeks ago allegedly showing Couch participating in a game of beer pong, which would also violate his probation terms. We can only hope that the Couch family’s latest bad decision — mom and son apparently disappearing, leaving probation officers and the Tarrant County judicial system justifiably furious — doesn’t end in more tragedy. Couch “violating probation.” Samantha Jordan, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said in a telephone interview on Wednesday that it was investigating possible violations of Mr. The most recent no-show and actual-disappearing act tells you pretty much all you need to know about how Couch and his family have handled things in the aftermath of the tragedy he caused.

When Couch was prosecuted in juvenile court, his lawyers invoked the affluenza defense that claimed his irresponsible lifestyle was due to wealthy parents who coddled him. Couch’s 10-year probation related to both the Twitter post and his apparent disappearance. “And we are now investigating his whereabouts and the whereabouts of his mother,” Ms. But as I wrote after the beer pong episode, what’s more important than our laughing about this latest train wreck — or even more important than whether Couch now gets jail time — is this: While the outrageous excuse-making of the Couch family may seem unique, the life Ethan Couch was living before his deadly 2013 crash — and perhaps the lifestyle he’s again adopted since getting out of rehab — is anything but unique. A pickup driven by Couch in June 2013 was travelling at more than 65 mph along a dark, two-lane road south of Fort Worth when it barreled into a disabled vehicle and a group of people who had stopped to help the stranded motorist. Couch’s case be transferred to the supervision of an adult district court, which means he would be eligible for prison rather than juvenile detention in the event of any violations.

David Dewhurst asked the Senate Committee on Criminal Justice to review how probation sentences are issued in adult and juvenile cases of intoxication manslaughter.

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