FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The judge in the case of a Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck has upheld an April order that the teen spend nearly two years in jail.
Judge Wayne Salvant signed an order Wednesday reaffirming the probation terms he imposed on Ethan Couch in April.
The judge canceled a hearing on the matter scheduled for May 16.
Salvant had ordered that Couch spend 180 days in jail for each of the four people he killed in 2013 when he rammed a pickup truck into a crowd of people helping a motorist.
The sentences were to be served consecutively.
Couch said Salvant’s order exceeded the court’s authority.
Couch’s case was transferred from juvenile court to adult court shortly after he turned 19.
Upon hearing the news of the judge’s ruling, MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church issued this statement:
“Our voices were heard! More importantly, the voices of the victims were heard! Less than 10 hours after MADD posted our open letter to Judge Wayne Salvant on madd.org/720notenough, the judge did the right thing and signed an order into place today reaffirming the probation terms he set on Ethan Couch’s April 13th hearing. In our letter, we asked Judge Salvant to maintain the 720-day jail term, the maximum amount of jail time allowed under Texas law, and that’s what he did. After years of heartbreak, this is a small victory. But we can never say that we won. No one ever wins in drunk driving crashes. No one can win when someone kills or injuries innocent people.”
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