Public enemy Ethan Couch is back in the news. The “affluenza teen” is going to be featured in a new documentary. It doesn’t look like he’s changed all that much.
Killed Four In A Drunken Massacre
Couch got national attention in 2013 when, at 16, he fatally crashed his car while drunk, killing four and wounded another in an incident that quickly got national attention. His psychologist infamously described him as a product of “affluenza,” meaning he was too rich and sheltered to understand that there were consequences for his actions. The defense caused millions to scoff, privilege didn’t cause him to blow three times over the legal limit, but it worked.
Where Is He Now?
While the prosecution sought 20 years, the judge sentenced him to rehab and ten years of probation, far lower than one would expect for killing four people. After two years of probation, he fled to Mexico with his mother. The probation violation led to a 720-day jail sentence, and he was released in 2018.
He was in hot water again in 2020 for a failed THC test, but his lawyers eventually got those charges dropped. Authorities couldn’t determine if the drugs came from CBD oil or illegal marijuana. Despite his repeat offenses and criminal behavior, many believe he’s still cheating the legal sentence.
Lawsuits Piling Up
While the state landed on ten years, Couch has faced six civil lawsuits from his victims and their families. By October 2015, all of the lawsuits were settled out of court. It’s unknown how much the Couch family had to pay, but we do know one of these victims was looking for $10 million in case of round-the-clock care.
Here we are nearly ten years after the accident, so what’s Couch up to now? He’s not a teenager anymore for one thing, and his probation is set to end in 2024. REELZ is debuting a documentary about him entitled Affluenza Teen: The Friends Speak.
The documentary speaks to friends and family members to seek clarity about the tragedy. The documentary takes a deep dive into what happened, and how a very drunk Couch ended up behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
Only time will tell if Couch is really capable of learning from his mistakes and changing his ways, but that won’t satisfy most people. 10 years seems like a long time, but he’s also responsible for ending four lives. It looks like his “affluenza” continues to help him escape justice.