- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

The Texas drunken driver whose defense invoked the idea that he suffered from “affluenza” has been sent from juvenile court to the adult system. Here’s a look at what happened to 18-year-old Ethan Couch and what comes next:


THE DEFENSE DID NOT OBJECT: Couch’s attorney did not fight the transfer, possibly because the punishment might have been greater in the juvenile system.

Staying in juvenile court could have set off a series of hearings to determine if Couch violated his existing probation, which could have led to 10 years in adult prison when Couch ages out of the juvenile system at 19. In the adult system, Couch will not face the threat of decades in prison unless he violates probation in the future. He could still face several months in the county jail.


DECISION ON PROBATION: Couch will remain in the Tarrant County Jail for another 10 days while a judge considers the terms of his probation. His attorney said he would not request any specific conditions. A hearing to set the probation terms has not been scheduled.


MOTHER’S CASE: Couch’s mother, Tonya, is under house arrest on charges she helped him flee to Mexico after a video surfaced that appeared to show him at a party where people were drinking - a violation of his probation. She faces two to 10 years in prison if convicted of hindering the apprehension of a felon. Her next court date has not been set.

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