Ethan Couch, "Affluenza Teen," and Mom Found, Detained in Mexico--He Will Likely Get Off Easy Again

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Ethan Couch, known as the "affluenza teen," was found in Mexico in the company of his mom, Tonya Couch. Ethan Couch has been a fugitive from justice since violating his probation and going on the run with his mother.

Reuters reports the "affluenza teen" and his mom disappeared in November, prompting authorities in Tarrant County, Texas, to place Ethan Couch on their most wanted list, and issue a warrant for his arrest.

Dubbed the "affluenza teen" for living a life so privileged he couldn't fathom taking responsibility for his actions, Ethan Couch killed four people while driving drunk at the age of 16. His defense team used the "affluenza" term as part of their defense strategy. It worked, too, as Ethan Couch didn't do any jail time for the deaths of four innocent people. Instead he was sentenced to probation, which he recently violated. It was via social media that Couch was spotted by authorities playing beer pong. That's when he and his mom went on the run.

Those hoping Ethan Couch gets a stiffer sentence this time around better not hold their breath. CNN reports that chances of that happening are very unlikely.

Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson explained during a press conference about Ethan Couch on Tuesday, that the most jail time he can serve is 120 days in an adult facility. She made the following five points when discussing the situation.

1. Ethan Couch was sentenced as a juvenile and violated his probation as ordered by juvenile court system.
2. Under Texas law, Couch, now 18, would be punished for his violation in the juvenile system.
3. The maximum sentence that a juvenile judge can dish out for a violation of his juvenile probation is imprisonment in a juvenile facility until Couch turns 19, which is April 11, 2016.
4. The DA wants to transfer Couch's sentence to adult court. But since this violation happened in the juvenile system, Couch effectively would start with a clean slate in the adult probation system. That is, the adult court judge could not punish Couch for violations he committed as a juvenile.
5. At the time a judge reassesses Couch's probation in the adult system, he has the power to put Couch in adult jail for a maximum of 120 days.

The families of the people killed by Ethan Couch are likely suffering all over again. They no doubt hoped the "affluenza teen" might finally receive a far more adequate punishment for his crimes.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.