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World & Nation

Young Texan who invoked ‘affluenza’ defense released from jail

Ethan Couch
Ethan Couch is led to a juvenile court for a hearing in Fort Worth on Feb. 19, 2016.
(LM Otero / Associated Press)

A 20-year-old Texas man who as a teenager invoked “affluenza” in his defense after killing four people in a wreck while drunk has been released from jail.

Tarrant County sheriff’s spokesman David McClelland says Ethan Couch was released Monday from the county jail near Dallas after serving nearly two years for a revoked probation.

Couch was 16 in June 2013 when he struck and killed four pedestrians. A psychologist at his manslaughter trial blamed his irresponsibility on family wealth, dubbing it “affluenza.” A juvenile court sentenced him to 10 years of probation.

Couch’s probation was revoked in 2016 after he attended a party where alcohol was served.

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His mother, Tonya Couch, awaits trial on charges of hindering apprehension of a felon and money laundering after she fled to Mexico with her son in 2015.


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