Man who invoked 'affluenza' defence released from Texas jail

Release of'affluenza teen who killed 4 people sparks outrage

Dubbed the "Affluenza Teen", Ethan Couch drove drunk in 2013 and killed four people, and he shocked the world when he was only given probation for his crime.

Prosecutors had sought a 20-year prison term, but a juvenile court handed Couch a sentence of mental health treatment and a decade of probation. He was convicted of killing four people in a drunken driving accident in 2013 when he plowed a pickup truck into a group of good Samaritans helping a stranded driver.

As he fled to Mexico, Couch's probation was still being supervised by the juvenile court system, which meant his probation could only be revoked until April 11, 2016, his 19th birthday.

Ethan Couch - who infamously used his wealthy upbringing as a defense for his crime, saying it impaired his ability to tell right from wrong - served almost two years at Tarrant County Jail for fleeing to Mexico after the fatal 2013 crash.

At the time of the crash in Texas, Couch had a blood-alcohol level almost three times the legal limit for an adult.

A psychologist at his manslaughter trial in Texas argued Couch suffered from "affluenza", having been raised without rules because of his parents' wealth. He was later jailed for violating his probation, according to USA Today.

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After spending several weeks in the Mexican resort town, the two were caught when authorities traced an order for Domino's Pizza made from one of the Couches' smartphones.

They were both eventually arrested and extradited to Texas.

No time has been set for his release, but the sheriff's office for the county, which includes Fort Worth, begins processing inmates at 8 a.m. (1300 GMT), office spokesman David McClelland said.

"From the beginning, Ethan has admitted his conduct, accepted responsibility for his actions, and felt true remorse for the bad consequences of those actions", the attorneys said. Shortly after that, a beer pong video surfaced, appearing to show Couch violating his probation by being at a party with alcohol.

State District Judge Wayne Salvant had warned Tonya Couch last June to "use common sense" pending her trial.

Ethan Couch was sentenced to 720 days behind bars for violating probation. The twist is, that she was sent to the same jail as her son.

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