Culture

'Affluenza' Teen Released from Prison

Tarrant County Jail

Ethan Couch, the teenager who was convicted of killing four people while driving drunk in 2013, has been released from prison after serving two years for violating probation.

Couch, who is now 20 years old, might be familiar due to the unusual circumstances surrounding his trial: his legal team suggested Ethan suffered from affluenza, “a term supposedly meant to indicate that because of a wealthy, affluent upbringing devoid of consequences, he wasn’t capable of knowing right from wrong, or fully accepting responsibility,” according to USA Today.

Couch’s defense, as well as his sentencing, outraged the public at the time. Many felt that he was given special treatment because of his privilege and that another person in his situation would have been given a far harsher punishment.

After the accident, in which Couch drove his pickup truck into a group of people who were helping a stranded driver, he was sentenced to 10 years of probation and rehab by District Judge Jean Boyd. In 2015, he was caught attempting to flee to Mexico with the help of his mother.

Couch’s mother, Tonya, 50, was arrested just days before Ethan’s release. She was out on bond for helping her son violate his probation, and it was revoked when she failed a urine test for drugs.