FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Lawyers for a Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck have turned to the Texas Supreme Court in an effort to secure his release from jail.
The motion filed Friday on behalf of 19-year-old Ethan Couch argues that a judge had no authority to sentence Couch to nearly two years in jail after his case was moved from juvenile to adult court.
Couch’s attorneys argue that the judge only had jurisdiction over criminal cases and that juvenile matters are civil.
Couch was given 10 years’ probation after killing four people in a 2013 wreck. He later violated his probation.
A defense expert invoked the term “affluenza” in arguing during the sentencing phase of the teenager’s trial that he was coddled into a sense of irresponsibility.