4
| Courts |

Ethan Couch Loses Fight To Duck Sentence

^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Late Thursday, the Texas Supreme Court denied Ethan Couch's request to be released from Tarrant County jail.

Couch and his attorneys argued that District Judge Wayne Salvant didn't have the authority to sentence the 20-year-old. The judge gave Couch two years in jail last spring after receiving the case from juvenile court.

In 2013, another Tarrant County judge, Jean Boyd, sentenced Couch to 10 years probation for killing four people and seriously injuring two others in a drunken truck crash. The case drew national outrage for the light sentence and the tactics of Couch's defense team, who called an expert to testify that Couch suffered from "affluenza,"  basically an inability to tell right from wrong do to his parents refusal to place boundaries on his behavior.

Two-and-a-half years later, in December 2015, a video surfaced on Twitter of Couch playing beer pong. Fearful that his probation would be revoked, Couch and his mother threw a goodbye party and took off for Mexico. Once in Puerto Vallarta, Couch inadvertently gave away his location to authorities when he ordered pizza from a Domino's using an iPhone being tracked by Mexican and American authorities,

After Couch's extradition from Mexico, Salvant sentenced him to 180 days for each victim he killed as a condition of his transfer to adult court. Couch's attorneys have claimed that, because juvenile probation is technically a civil matter, Salvant should not have sentenced Couch in a criminal court.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving hailed the Texas Supreme Court decision. "While MADD is ecstatic that Ethan and his lawyers’ ludicrous motion was denied by the Texas Supreme Court, this is far from a victory," the group said in a statement.

Couch is set to be released from jail next year.

In related news, the notorious case made its way to Jeopardy! this week.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.