'Affluenza' teen gets two-year sentence

Ethan Couch, the teen who killed four and injured others in a 2013 drunken driving crash on Burleson-Retta Road and then was the subject of a 2015 international manhunt, has been sentenced to four 180-day sentences to be served consecutively in the Tarrant County jail.

"We are pleased Ethan Couch won't be going home," said Jason Derscheid, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers' North Texas executive director. "This is a small victory."

Judge Wayne Salvant delivered the judgement April 13 in a Tarrant County court, along with Couch's terms of probation upon release. He committed to reconvening with attorneys in two weeks to review the sentencing.

"If the ruling holds, then he will be with us two more years," Sheriff Dee Anderson said. "That's certainly a long time for anyone to serve in the county jail."

Salvant failed to define if the punishment would include time already served.

"There is no winning in the Ethan Couch case," Derscheid said. "Is 180 days enough [per case]? We don't think it is. We applaud the conditions for being set the way they are."

Couch has garnered national media exposure as the "affluenza" teen. He was wanted by the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office when he fled the area in December, and U.S. Marshals got involved with the search, offering a reward for information leading to his capture.

Couch was serving 10 years of probation for the 2013 drunken driving crash when he fled to Mexico with his mother, following the release of a video from @BlondeSpectre on Twitter that allegedly showed Couch participating in a beer pong game. He then missed a scheduled meeting with his probation officer.

The crash that killed four – stranded motorist Breanna Mitchell, 24; and three Good Samaritans: youth pastor Brian Jennings, 41, Hollie Boyles, 52, and her daughter, Shelby Boyles, 21 – took place June 15, 2013, in far southern Tarrant County near the Johnson County line in rural Burleson.

Couch was age 16 at the time of the crash, driving a vehicle owned by his father's Cleburne sheet metal company. He turned 19 on Monday.

Burleson Star

327 N.W. Renfro St.
PO Box 909
Burleson, TX 76028-0909

Phone: 817-295-0486
FAX: 817-295-5278