Ethan Couch, the 18-year-old Texas teenager who was sentenced to 10 years of probation after killing two pedestrians and injuring two others while driving drunk, may have been caught on camera violating the terms of the ruling that kept him out of jail.
In 2013, when Couch was sentenced, his defense team successfully argued that even though his blood-alcohol levels were three times the legal limit for an adult, the real cause of his actions was a serious case of "affluenza." The disorder, his lawyers claimed, was caused by growing up wealthy with emotionally absentee parents and led to Couch's inability to understand the implications of his actions.
One of the main provisions of Crouch's probation required that he avoid any contact with alcohol or narcotics, but in a video uploaded to Twitter, it appears that he might have forgotten.
"Ya boy Ethan Couch violating probation," Twitter user Hannah Hardee (@BlondeSpectre) wrote, tagging the official accounts for the city of Burleson, TX and Tarrant County District Attorney's office. "Got more if you want."
Hardee told WFAA8 that she herself was not at the party, but that she'd been sent the video in early October.
"It was just making me mad that they were not taking any of this seriously," Hardee explained. "And after seeing the interviews with the victims' families and stuff, it just really gets to me."
To be fair, there's no telling what's in the red solo cups that the boys seen in the video seem to be playing beer pong with. That being said, there also seem to be a number of beer cans in the shot as well.
Though local authorities have confirmed that they are now looking into Couch's case once again because of the video, District Judge Timothy Menikos was hesitant to immediately cast judgement.
“He’s allowed due process at every level,” Grisham told the Dallas News Crimeblog. “[Cases] are not prosecuted or revoked or modified based on hearsay or based on a grainy video that we can’t identify someone in.”
The District Attorney's office has submitted a formal request for Menikos tomove Couch's case from juvenile court (where he was initially tried) to adult court next April when Couch will be 19. Being tried again as an adult who'd violated probation could significant change how the court treats him.
The judge is expected to rule on a request from the district attorney’s office to move the case from the juvenile court to an adult court after Couch’s 19th birthday in April, a shift that could affect how the latest allegations play out.