logo for print

Ethan Couch turns to Texas Supreme Court for release from jail

Lawyers allege that the judge who sentenced to Ethan Couch to nearly two years after his case was moved from juvenile to adult court didn't have the authority to do so


By Tasha Tsiaperas
The Dallas Morning News

AUSTIN, Texas — The attorneys for "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch have asked the Texas Supreme Court to intervene in his case, a move that could release him from jail. 

The lawyers allege in the court filing that the judge who sentenced to Couch to nearly two years behind bars after his case was moved from juvenile court to adult court didn't have the authority to do so. 

Ethan Couch is brought into Judge Wayne Salvant's court for Couch's adult court hearing at Tim Curry Justice Center on April 13, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)
Ethan Couch is brought into Judge Wayne Salvant's court for Couch's adult court hearing at Tim Curry Justice Center on April 13, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Couch gained national notoriety when he was sentenced to 10 years probation for killing four people and seriously injuring two others in a drunken driving crash in 2013. He was 16 at the time. 

A psychologist testified that he suffered "affluenza" because of his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy parents. 

A video surfaced in December 2015 that appeared to show Couch at a party where people were playing beer pong, which violated the terms of his probation. He missed a meeting with his probation officer and fled with his mother, Tonya Couch, to Puerto Vallarta. 

After he was arrested and returned to the United States, his case was transferred from the juvenile system to the adult system last year, and a judge sentenced him to almost two years behind bars -- 180 days for each of the four people he killed. He is scheduled to be released next year. 

But his attorneys have argued that state District Judge Wayne Salvant should have been removed from the case and that Salvant overstepped his bounds transferring the case to adult court and sentencing Couch to jail time. 

A motion to have Couch released from jail was denied in September, and a motion in the appeals court was denied in February. The lawyers, Reagan Wynn and Scott Brown, filed a motion with the Texas Supreme Court on Friday. 

———

©2017 The Dallas Morning News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2017 CorrectionsOne.com. All rights reserved.