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UNSPECIFIED DATE AND LOCATION: (EDITORS NOTE: Best quality available)  In this handout provided by the U.S. Marshals, suspect  Ethan Couch poses for a mugshot photo. Couch is wanted for probation violation out of Tarrant County, Texas. Couch's case made national news in 2013 when he was sentenced to 10 years probation for the vehicular manslaughter of four people. (Photo by U.S. Marshals via Getty Images)
Whatever Happened To Affluenza Teen, Ethan Couch?
History - Science
On June 15, 2013, a then 16-year-old Ethan Couch drove his truck into a small crowd of people on the side of the road in Burleson, Texas, killing four and injuring nine. Although he was clearly driving under the influence, his defense argued that he couldn’t have possibly comprehended his actions due to his privileged upbringing (or “affluenza”), earning him a sentence of probation.
After receiving his probation, Couch was hit with multiple lawsuits from his victims and their families. In 2015 and 2016, respectively, he reached financial settlements with Luke McConnell (a teen who was inside a truck that Couch crashed into) and Sergio Molina (another teen who was left paralyzed by the incident).
In late 2015, it was revealed that Couch and his mother, Tonya, had fled to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, after Couch violated his probation. After getting arrested and brought back, Couch was sentenced to 720 days in jail and made to wear a patch that detects consumption of drugs and alcohol upon leaving.
Couch was arrested again in 2020 when his patch detected THC, but he was released after tests failed to determine whether the THC was from CBD oil or marijuana. While his probation is set to end in 2024, his mother, Tonya, is currently charged with hindering the apprehension of a known felon and money laundering, though her case has yet to go to court as of 2022.