FORT WORTH, Texas - Affluenza teen Ethan Couch remains in a holding facility in Mexico fighting deportation. Whether part of a strategy or not, he will miss a court hearing during which the Tarrant County district attorney will ask to have his case moved from the juvenile system to the adult courts.
No matter what happens, Mothers Against Drunk Driving will be there.
“He walked away basically with a slap on the wrist and continues to act in complete disregard to the entire criminal justice system,” said Jason Derscheid with MADD.
Couch got 10 years of probation after he was convicted of killing four people in a drunken driving crash in 2013.
“He has not been held accountable for anything he’s done yet and we need to make sure that we position his case in the criminal justice system where he can’t create more victims,” Derscheid said.
Someone investigators believe was Couch appeared in a video of a party where alcohol was involved. Then he missed a meeting with his probation officer and went on the run with his mother to Mexico.
Tonya Couch has been returned to Tarrant County, but authorities believe it could be weeks or even months before her son is returned.
When Couch comes back, the most time he could serve in jail is 120 days.
“There’s a lot of times where people see a minimal sentence for killing people and or DUI or multiple DUIs,” Derscheid said.
That’s why MADD started a petition to raise awareness and have Couch’s case moved to the adult courts. The goal was 30,000 signatures and they got more than 40,000.
“Having him transferred to the adult system will actually give them an opportunity to hold him more accountable for what he’s done. He’s not a child. His actions are not that of a child and we want to make sure that he’s held accountable as the adult he is,” he said.
Couch has racked up a long list of probation violations over the past few months. But those violations will not transfer over to the adult system and the most jail time he can get is still 120 days.
But if his case is transferred, he still has the remaining time on his probation sentence and that would carry a whole new set of conditions. If he violates those he would face some serious consequences.