Outrage After White 'Affluenza Teen' Who Killed 4 People Drunk Driving Is Released After 2 Years

Ethan Couch is brought into Judge Wayne Salvant's court for Couch's adult court hearing at Tim Curry Justice Center on April 13, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

Outrage After White 'Affluenza Teen' Who Killed 4 People Drunk Driving Is Released After 2 Years

Ethan Couch blamed his family's wealth for his wrongdoing.

Published April 2, 2018

The white man who became known as the “affluenza teen” after he killed four people in a drunk driving accident and used his family’s wealth as a defense was released after spending two years in jail.

Ethan Couch, now 20, struck and killed four people in June 2013. At the time of the crash Couch, who was 16, and had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit for an adult, Reuters reports.

Although Couch’s crime was terrible, it was his argument of defense that outraged people and made headlines.

During Couch’s juvenile court trial, a psychologist testified on his behalf and said Couch suffered from “affluenza.” The psychologist described “affluenza” as a condition triggered from being spoiled by his parents and their wealth. Couch basically argued that his affluent lifestyle affected his ability to discern between right and wrong.

Couch was sentenced to 10 years of probation for intoxication manslaughter.

In 2015, a social media video surfaced that showed him in possible violation of his drug-and-drink-free probation. A year later, a Tarrant County judge transferred Ethan Couch’s probation supervision to the adult system, and ordered him to serve 720 days in jail — 180 days for each of his four victims.

That sentence was seen as the maximum possible, given the various legal mechanisms of a case that spanned the juvenile and adult systems, legal officials said.

  1. News of Couch's release was met by outrage on Twitter
  2. Couch's entire case represents the white, upper-class privilege that exists in the justice system
  3. The lenient sentence for Couch was compared to the extremely harsh sentence of Crystal Mason, who got 5 years for voting

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)

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