FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) - The Latest on the case of Ethan Couch, the 18-year-old who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal 2013 drunken driving wreck in Texas and was recently deported from Mexico (all times local):
One of the severely injured victims from Ethan Couch’s fatal drunken driving wreck plans to attend the next hearing in the case.
Couch is known for using an “affluenza” defense during a juvenile trial for the wreck that killed four people in 2013. The 18-year-old was recently deported from Mexico, where authorities believe he fled with is mother while prosecutors investigated whether he violated his probation in the case.
Sergio Molina was paralyzed in the wreck. His brother, Alex Lemus, says “it’s very hard to deal with all the changes” to his brother, who can communicate only by blinking his eyes.
But he says Molina will be at a February hearing that will determine whether Couch’s case moves to adult court. Lemus says his mother believes that had Molina been driving, “he would have gotten the death penalty in Texas.”
Tim McLaughlin, whose 15-year-old son survived the crash, says he also hopes Couch gets locked up. He says Couch needs “a wake-up call.”
A Texas prosecutor handling the case of “affluenza” teenager Ethan Couch says the public shouldn’t feed his “ego with notoriety.”
Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson said in a statement Friday that the focus shouldn’t be on the 18-year-old’s “squandered” chances, but rather on the fallout from his drunken-driving crash in 2013 that killed four people.
Wilson says, “behind every incident are the victims.”
Wilson says her office will make every effort to hold Couch accountable, but she notes her office is limited by the 10-year probation issued to Couch by a juvenile court judge in the 2013 case.
Authorities believe Couch and his mother fled to Mexico last month as prosecutors investigated whether he violated his probation in the 2013 case. He was deported Thursday.
A judge has agreed to allow “affluenza” teenager Ethan Couch to remain in a juvenile detention facility as he awaits a judge’s ruling on transferring his case to the adult system.
Judge Timothy Menikos sided with Couch’s attorneys during a court hearing Friday in Fort Worth. Prosecutors had asked that the 18-year-old Couch be moved to an adult jail.
The hearing marks the first time Couch appeared in court since being deported from Mexico on Thursday.
Authorities believe Couch and his mother fled to Mexico in early December, as prosecutors in Texas investigated whether he may have violated his probation in a 2013 drunken-driving wreck that killed four people.
Couch was 16 at the time of the wreck, and the case has been handled so far in juvenile court.
“Affluenza” teenager Ethan Couch is in a Texas courtroom to face his first hearing since being deported from Mexico.
The 18-year-old was sentenced to probation for a 2013 drunken-driving wreck that killed four people near Fort Worth. Authorities believe he and his mother fled to Mexico in early December, as prosecutors in Texas investigated whether he may have violated his probation.
A judge is expected to decide during Friday’s hearing whether to keep Couch at the juvenile facility where he was taken after arriving back in Texas on Thursday.
The judge also could decide to move Couch to an adult jail to await a February hearing that will determine whether the case is transferred to the adult system, where Couch could face time behind bars.
During the sentencing phase of Couch’s 2013 trial, a defense witness argued Couch had been coddled into a sense of irresponsibility by his wealthy parents and deemed the condition “affluenza.”
The Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck is expected to learn whether he’ll be moved to an adult jail as he awaits a judge’s ruling on transferring his case to the adult system.
A hearing is scheduled Friday for 18-year-old Ethan Couch. He was deported from Mexico on Thursday and taken to a juvenile detention facility in Fort Worth.
Authorities believe Couch and his mother fled to Mexico as Texas prosecutors investigated whether he may have violated his probation in the drunken-driving case. Couch was 16 at the time of the wreck, so the case is being handled for now in juvenile court.
A judge will decide Friday whether to move Couch to an adult jail, keep him at the juvenile facility or to let him go before a February hearing.
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