FORT WORTH, Tx (AP) – The Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck has been ordered to spend nearly two years in jail.
State District Judge Wayne Salvant said Wednesday that Ethan Couch must spend 180 days in jail for each of the four people he killed in 2013 when he rammed a pickup truck into a crowd of people helping a motorist. The sentences will be served consecutively.
Salvant earlier said he would not rule on Couch’s jail time immediately.
It was Couch’s first appearance in an adult court.
In 2013 Couch was 16 and his blood-alcohol level was three times above the legal limit for adult drivers when the crash occurred.
At his juvenile trial a psychologist testifying on his behalf said Couch was so spoiled by his wealthy parents that he could not tell right from wrong.
The psychologist described the affliction as “affluenza,” a term that quickly became a media buzzword.
He was sentenced to 10 years of probation, a penalty that sparked outrage from critics who ridiculed the affluenza defense and said his family’s wealth helped the teen stay out of jail.
Couch and his mother were caught in Mexico after fleeing a possible probation violation. He has been has been in custody in Texas since January.