It was a couple of years ago that a teenager from Texas killed four people in a drunk driving crash but was only sentenced to probation following his lawyers argument that he suffered from affluenza. This term is used to describe psychological issues suffered by children who come from wealthy families because their parents did not set boundaries for them. There are many who feel that the kid got off too lightly and should have received a stiffer sentence.
The case is garnering new attention now that the teenager, Ethan Couch , has gone missing. Police now have the juvenile court equivalent of an arrest warrant to immediately detain Couch, and they are actively looking for him and his mother.
A statement from Couch’s lawyers reveals that they recently learned that Couch’s probation officer was unable to make contact with him for several days, nor were they able to make contact with his mother, who Couch was thought to be residing with. However, the statement did not go into any detail as to why Couch had not been in contact with his probation officer.
A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office stated that they were aware of the video and that an investigation was underway to determine if Couch had violated his probation, as well as an investigation as it relates to his apparent disappearance. The spokesperson also stated that Couch’s supervision is with the juvenile court. However, if there were any kind of major violation, then the juvenile prosecutors at the District Attorney’s office would ultimately step in to handle the matter.
Apparently, a request was made by the District Attorney’s Office in November to have Couch’s case transferred to an adult District Court for supervision, but no hearing for that request has been scheduled as of yet. If granted, that could mean Couch would be eligible to receive prison time instead of juvenile detention if a judge finds he violated his probation or committed any other offenses. The timing of all the events may play an important role in the outcome.
The District Attorney’s Office further stated that if the request for this hearing is not granted, Couch’s probation would officially end in April of 2016 when he turns 19 years old.