Lincoln High School Statesman

“Affluenza” teen released from jail

Reuters, BBC

Reuters, BBC

Emily Whitney, News Editor

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In 2013, teenager Ethan Couch was sentenced to 10 years of probation for killing four people, until he violated his probation. He was then sentenced to two years in county jail. His case became more well-known when a psychologist involved in the case described Couch as a product of  “affluenza,” meaning his actions were a result of him being spoiled by his wealthy parents.

The crash occurred on June 15, 2013 while Couch, who was 16 at the time, had a blood alcohol content of three times the legal limit. He was also high on marijuana and prescription medication. The crash resulted in four people dead and nine others injured after he drove his pickup truck into an SUV that was on the side of the road. Although prosecutors fought for a 20 year sentence, his trial ended with 10 years of probation and time served at a rehab facility.

In 2015, a video of Couch surfaced on Twitter of him at a beer pong party. It was then that the mother, Tonya Couch, helped her son flee to Mexico. Shortly after he failed to show up to his meeting with his probation officer, authorities found and arrested the two in Puerto Vallarta. After returning to the U.S., Couch was sentenced to 720 days in jail for violating his probation sentence. His mother was also charged for helping him flee.

On April 2, Couch was released from jail after two years. He will now serve six years of community supervision.

“Now, nearly five years after this horrific event, Ethan does not wish to draw attention to himself and requests privacy so he may focus on successfully completing his community supervision and going forward as a law-abiding citizen,” said Couch’s lawyer, according to BBC.

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Considered a Statesman legend, senior Emily Whitney has already been successful in following her father’s footsteps, if not passing them. Besides journalism, Whitney is also involved in Student Council and LHS tennis. This year marks her 6th and final year on varsity (yeah baby). In her limited free time, others can find Whitney sleeping, playing...
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