‘Affluenza’ Teen Ethan Couch’s Case Now Eligible to Be Heard in Texas’ Adult Court

Ethan Couch as he was being escorted by law-enforcement officials 

Infamous "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch is now legally an adult, making his case eligible, as of Monday, to be transferred to Texas' adult system, the Associated Press reports

Couch has turned 19, which is the age that Texas deems teens no longer eligible to have their cases heard in juvenile courts. Earlier this year, on Feb. 19, a Texas juvenile court judge ruled that after the teen's 19th birthday, his case could be transferred to the adult system. 


Couch became a national news topic after killing four people and injuring nine others in a 2013 drunk driving crash when he was just 16. His defense famously blamed "affluenza" for his actions, saying that the teen had never been held responsible for the consequences of his actions. However, late last year the case took spin after spin after video allegedly showing Couch at a party where there was alcohol—which would have violated his probation—surfaced on social media. The teen was then accused of having fled to Mexico with his mother, Tonya Couch, in December, before both parties were extradited back to Texas.

According to AP, Couch is scheduled to make his first appearance in adult court April 18. The judge in the adult court could rule that any further violation of probation could be met by prison time. In that event, Couch could face a sentence of up to 40 years, 10 years for each life that was lost in the 2013 crash. 

Tonya Couch is still under house arrest at another son's home after being charged with helping Ethan Couch flee. She faces anywhere from two to 10 years in prison if convicted of the charges. 

Read more at CBS News

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