FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – After being ordered last week to remain in jail for nearly two more years, Ethan Couch was transferred Tuesday out of Tarrant County’s maximum security facility to a “less restrictive” location, according to Sheriff Dee Anderson.
In no sense is his current classification considered “general population,” according to Terry Grisham, the sheriff’s spokesman. “He went from a ten to a nine.”
The so-called ‘affluenza’ teen has been in solitary confinement in Fort Worth since being transferred to adult jail in February. Officials said that the isolation was for his own protection. He turned 19 years old in April and was told that he would remain behind bars for almost two years. The judge upheld that decision last week.
There was outrage in North Texas, and around the world, when Couch, who was 16 years old at the time, killed four people while driving drunk and then escaped harsh punishment in juvenile court. He was sentenced to rehabilitation and 10 years probation.
The teen’s attorney argued that Couch was raised by wealthy parents and was never taught right from wrong — a condition a psychologist dubbed ‘affluenza.’
Couch was extradited back to North Texas in January. He had been in custody in Mexico. He and his mother, Tonya Couch, were captured in Puerto Vallarta after fleeing to Mexico when a video posted to Twitter allegedly showed him at a party playing beer pong. Consuming alcohol would have been a violation of his parole.
If Couch were to violate probation, now that he is in the adult system, he could face up to 10 years in prison each of the four people he killed. Couch declined interviews the day he came into the Sheriff’s custody, which means “for all and forever,” according to Grisham.