Ethan Anthony Couch
April 11, 1997
|Occupation||Employee at family's sheet metal business|
|Known for||Defense of "affluenza" against charge of intoxication manslaughter|
|Criminal status||Convicted, sentenced to probation|
|Parent(s)||Tonya Couch (mother)|
Fred Couch (father)
|Criminal charge||Intoxication manslaughter|
|Penalty||Initially 10 years' probation; later, 720 days in jail added due to a probation violation |
|Victims||13 (4 killed, 9 injured)|
|Date||June 15, 2013|
|After fleeing to Mexico on probation violation, December 28, 2015|
Ethan Anthony Couch (born April 11, 1997) is an American who, at age 16, killed four people while driving under the influence on June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas. Couch, while intoxicated and under the influence of drugs, was driving on a restricted license and was speeding in a residential area when he lost control of his vehicle, colliding with a group of people assisting another driver with a disabled sport utility vehicle. Four people were killed in the collision, and a total of nine people were injured. Two passengers in Couch's pickup truck suffered serious injuries, with one passenger suffering complete paralysis.
Couch was indicted on four counts of intoxication manslaughter for recklessly driving under the influence. In December 2013, Judge Jean Hudson Boyd sentenced Couch to ten years of probation, subsequently ordering him to undergo therapy at a long term inpatient facility. Before sentencing, Couch's attorneys had argued that Couch had "affluenza" and needed rehabilitation instead of prison, arguing that Couch had no understanding of boundaries as his affluent parents had never given him any. Couch's sentence, judged by many as outrageously lenient, set off what The New York Times called "an emotional, angry debate that has stretched far beyond the North Texas suburbs".
On December 11, 2015, after a video was posted online purporting to show Couch drinking at a party, Couch became the subject of a manhunt, and was listed in the National Fugitive Database after attempts by his probation officer to contact him failed. On December 28, 2015, authorities detained Couch and his mother in the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. On April 13, 2016, Couch was sentenced to serve two years in prison, and was released in 2018. On January 2, 2020, Couch returned to jail for an alleged probation violation, failing a mandated drug test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). He was released a day later, pending an investigation into whether the positive test result for THC came from illegal marijuana or from cannabidiol oil.
Couch's parents are Fred and Tonya. Fred founded Cleburne Metal Works, a metal roofing company, in 1986, and Tonya was a nurse before her license was revoked in 2012. Couch grew up in Burleson and previously attended Anderson Private School. Couch drove himself to school at the age of thirteen. When the head of the school questioned that practice, his father threatened to buy the school. Couch withdrew from Anderson and began attending a co-op based in nearby Watauga until age 15, when he enrolled in a community college.
At the age of 15, Couch was cited for "minor in consumption of alcohol" and "minor in possession of alcohol", after he was caught in a parked pickup truck with a naked, passed-out 14-year-old girl. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to probation, a compulsory alcohol awareness class, and 12 hours of community service.
His parents—who divorced in 2017—have also each had legal problems, publicized in the media following their son's conviction.
Fred Couch has previously been charged with evading arrest, theft by check, and assault against his then-wife Tonya, and was convicted of misdemeanor assault in 2000. On August 19, 2014, he was arrested for impersonating a police officer, allegedly displaying a fake badge during a disturbance call, and was later found guilty and sentenced to a year of probation in December 2016. In February 2016, police were called to his home after he allegedly choked his girlfriend, but no charges were filed. In September 2019, he was charged with assault, allegedly having choked his girlfriend with his hands that July.
On the evening of June 15, 2013, according to authorities and trial testimony, Couch was witnessed on surveillance video stealing two cases of beer from a Walmart store, driving with seven passengers in his father's red 2012 Ford F-350 pickup truck, and speeding at 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) in a designated 40-mile-per-hour (64 km/h) zone.
Approximately an hour after the beer theft, Couch was driving his father's truck at 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) on rural, two-lane Burleson-Retta Road where motorist Breanna Mitchell's sport utility vehicle had stalled. Hollie Boyles and her daughter Shelby, who lived nearby, had come out to help her, as had passing youth minister Brian Jennings. Couch's truck swerved off the road and into Mitchell's sport utility vehicle, then crashed into Jennings' parked car, which in turn hit an oncoming Volkswagen Beetle. Couch's truck then flipped over and struck a tree. Mitchell, Jennings, and both Boyles were killed, while Couch and his seven teenage passengers, none of whom were wearing seat belts, survived—although one was paralyzed—as did the two children in Jennings' car and the two people in the Volkswagen.
Three hours after the incident, Couch, 16, had a blood alcohol content of 0.24%, three times the legal limit for adult drivers (21+ years old) in Texas, and he also tested positive for marijuana and diazepam.
Trial and sentencing
Couch was charged with four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault. Tarrant County prosecutors were seeking a maximum sentence of 20 years' imprisonment for Couch.
G. Dick Miller, a psychologist hired as an expert by the defense, testified in court that the teen was a product of "affluenza" and was unable to link his actions with consequences because of his parents teaching him that wealth buys privilege. It was initially reported that, as part of his sentencing, their son would be sent for teen substance abuse and mental health rehabilitation to Newport Academy, an upscale residential treatment center in Newport Beach, California with costs upwards of $450,000, annually.
Following a court hearing closed to the public, Judge Boyd instead sentenced Couch to an unspecified lock-down rehabilitation facility at his parents' expense; the time Couch would have to stay there was also unspecified. Couch was ordered to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and driving. A hearing on April 11, 2014, revealed that on February 19, 2014, Couch had begun treatment "at the North Texas State Hospital, a state-owned inpatient mental health facility" in Vernon, Texas. Although the daily rate for the treatment facility is $715, Couch's parents were ordered to pay $1,170 per month for his stay there, based on the state's sliding-scale payment schedule. The amount ordered is the maximum allowed on the payment schedule. Couch's parents promised in court to pay the requested fee for their son's treatment.
Following the probation sentence, the Tarrant County District Attorney's office asked a juvenile judge to incarcerate Couch, on two counts of intoxication assault, saying there had been no verdict formally entered for those charges and "every case deserves a verdict."
One psychologist who disagreed with Couch's sentence—Dr. Suniya S. Luthar, who specializes in "the costs of affluence in suburban communities"—maintains that research shows feelings of entitlement among affluent youth are a social problem, and that "we are setting a double standard for the rich and poor." Luthar asked, "What is the likelihood if this was an African-American, inner-city kid that grew up in a violent neighborhood to a single mother who is addicted to crack and he was caught two or three times ... what is the likelihood that the judge would excuse his behavior and let him off because of how he was raised?"
Writing in The Guardian, Texas student Jessica Luther points out that Couch's family's ability to pay for private therapy, i.e., their wealth, was intrinsic to the judge's reasoning for giving Couch a light sentence. An offender without their means would end up in the overcrowded, publicly supported Texas juvenile justice system where (the judge noted) Couch "might not get the kind of intensive therapy in a state-run program that he could receive at the California facility suggested by his attorneys".
Another psychologist — Robin S. Rosenberg — has argued that Miller's defense makes no sense because Couch could have learned that bad behavior has consequences in other areas of his life, and that a sentence to a luxurious rehabilitation home reinforces the message "that his wealth and privilege can obviate the negative consequences of his criminal behavior".
Critics complained that the presiding judge — District Judge Jean Boyd — had given a much harsher sentence to another 16-year-old intoxicated driver 10 years earlier, who killed one person. In February 2004, Boyd sentenced Eric Bradlee Miller, who stole a truck and killed a 19 year old father, to 20 years telling him, "the court is aware you had a sad childhood ... I hope you will take advantage of the services [offered by the Texas Youth Commission] and turn your life around." Eric Bradlee Miller had killed one person, not four, and had a much lower blood alcohol level (0.11% compared to Couch's 0.24%), but was from a much poorer family.
According to The New York Times, however, it is unclear what, if any, part, Couch's family's wealth played in his sentence. "[I]t is not uncommon for minors involved in serious drunken-driving cases and other crimes to receive probation instead of prison time", and the sentence may be part of "a growing trend of giving a young person a second chance through rehabilitation instead of trying him as an adult". Boyd had a history of attempting to place youths in rehabilitation rather than jail.
The leading Republican and Democratic candidates in the 2014 Texas gubernatorial election, respectively, Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis, commented on the sentence. Davis referred to it as a "disgrace" and Abbott, then-Texas Attorney General, said his office was looking to appeal the case.
At a February 5, 2014 hearing, Eric Boyles, whose wife and daughter were killed in the crash, said "Had he not had money to have the defense there, to also have the experts testify, and also offer to pay for the treatment, I think the results would have been different."
Five civil lawsuits were filed by families of the four victims and two of the passengers between September and November 2013, against Couch, his family, and Cleburne Metal Works (doing business as Cleburne Sheet Metal, as the truck's registered owner). An additional lawsuit was filed in December 2013, by the family of Isaiah McLaughlin, a passenger in Jennings' vehicle. The lawsuits were filed by:
- Eric and Marguerite Boyles, husband and daughter of victim Hollie Boyles, and father and sister to victim Shelby Boyles
- Marla Mitchell, mother of victim Breanna Mitchell
- Shaunna Jennings, wife of victim Brian Jennings
- Maria Lemus and Sergio Molina, parents of passenger Sergio E. Molina
- Kevin and Alesia McConnell, parents of Lucas McConnell, who was a passenger in Jennings' vehicle
- Timothy and Priscilla McLaughlin, parents of Isaiah McLaughlin, who was another passenger in Jennings' vehicle
The first lawsuit was filed by Maria Lemus and Sergio Molina on behalf of their son, Sergio E. Molina, who was riding in the bed of Couch's truck and suffered a traumatic brain injury. According to the suit petition, Molina's medical expenses exceeded an estimated $600,000 at the time and could top $10 million if he needs round-the-clock care.
Five of the six suits (all those except the McLaughlin suit) were consolidated in January 2014 to save court costs. The McLaughlin and Mitchell suits were settled out-of-court by March 2014, and Sergio Molina's family reached an out-of-court settlement in May 2014. By November 2014, all of the suits had been settled with the exception of the suit by McConnell, who had requested a jury trial. In the McConnell suit, lawyers for the defendants filed a writ of mandamus in July 2014 to prevent access to the records of Dr. Miller; the emergency stay was granted by the Texas Court of Appeals in August, but mandamus was subsequently denied in September. The McConnell suit was settled in October 2015.
Fugitive status and capture
In late 2015, authorities began investigating a claim made on Twitter on December 2, 2015. The user posted a video along with a caption stating that Couch was in violation of his probation. The video shows several young people playing beer pong at a party, one of whom appears to be Couch. Drinking was a direct violation of Couch's 10 year probation. Consequences could have included a re-sentencing, which could mean a maximum of 10 years' imprisonment, according to the Tarrant County District Attorney's Office.
A warrant was issued for Couch on December 11, 2015, after his probation officer could not reach him. On December 18, 2015, Couch and his mother were reported as missing, and as having not been reached after failing to make contact with Couch's probation officer. The fugitive hunt for Couch became a federal matter in December 2015 with the U.S. Marshals Service, FBI, and other agencies joining the hunt for the suspect who was believed to have fled the country. A $5,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts or arrest of Ethan Couch was offered.
Couch and his mother were discovered and arrested in Puerto Vallarta, in Jalisco, Mexico on December 28, 2015. Mexican authorities transported the pair to immigration offices in Guadalajara for deportation to the United States. Ethan Couch won a delay in his deportation, based on a constitutional appeal in Mexico (see recurso de amparo), and was transported to a detention facility in Mexico City. His mother was deported December 30 aboard a commercial flight to Los Angeles International Airport and arrested upon arrival December 31 by the Los Angeles Police Department on a felony charge of hindering apprehension of a felon. She was initially being held on $1 million bail, but after her transfer back to Tarrant County, a judge dropped her bail to $75,000 and she was released from jail January 12, having posted bond.
Couch, having dropped his fight to avoid being deported from Mexico, was flown back to the United States on January 28, 2016, and was held in custody before appearing at a hearing on February 19 regarding his original juvenile probation case being transferred to the adult court system. The case was transferred to the adult court system on February 19, 2016, and the court stated that Couch will remain on probation until 2024. On April 13, 2016, state District Judge Wayne Salvant sentenced Couch to four consecutive terms of 180 days in jail (720 days in total) - one for each of the 2013 car crash victims - in light of him fleeing to Mexico.
Couch was released from jail on April 2, 2018. Upon his release, he was required to wear an ankle monitor and an alcohol detection patch and to submit to drug testing and conform to a 9 p.m. curfew. He is permitted to drive and has a video-equipped interlock ignition device installed in his vehicle, which will prevent him from starting his car without passing a breathalyzer test, according to Mike Simonds of the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office.
The non-profit organization Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) criticized Couch's release as a "grave injustice", vowing to keep a close eye on his case:
The 720 days Ethan Couch served for his crimes shows that drunk driving homicides still aren't treated as the violent crimes that they are ... We will be watching, because this case brought to light that there is so much more work to be done to hold drunk drivers accountable.— MADD, Statement in response to Ethan Couch, the 'affluenza teen's' release from jail
On March 18, 2019, a Tarrant County judge allowed Couch to remove the GPS ankle monitor,[why?] but the other conditions of his probation were not lifted. The Tarrant County District Attorney's Office said they were not notified about the decision. Couch was re-arrested on January 2, 2020, accused of violating his probation. Couch was booked into the Tarrant County Jail. According to court documents Couch tested positive for THC in a mandatory drug screening that was part of his probation. Couch was released one day later, on January 3, 2020, because authorities could not determine if the positive test result for THC came from illegal marijuana or cannabidiol oil.
- "Affluenza teen Ethan Couch gets 2 years in jail". KDFW. April 13, 2016. Archived from the original on February 28, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- "All Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 results for Ethan Couch". Ancestry.com. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- Dooley, Sean; Effron, Lauren (October 16, 2015). "'Affluenza' DUI Case: Never-Before-Seen Deposition Tapes Reveal New Details of Fatal Crash, Teen's Upbringing". ABC News. Archived from the original on May 8, 2016.
- "Judge orders 'affluenza' teen Ethan Couch to nearly 2 years in jail". Chicago Tribune. April 13, 2016. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2016.
- Smith, Matt (September 12, 2013). "Burleson teen charged with four counts of manslaughter". Cleburne Times-Review. Archived from the original on March 18, 2015. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
- Mitchell, Mitch (December 10, 2013). "Teen sentenced to 10 years probation, rehab in 4 deaths". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Alcindor, Yamiche (December 14, 2013). "What's the future for 'affluenza' defenses?". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 28, 2020. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
- Fernandez, Manny; Schwartz, John (December 13, 2013). "Teenager's Sentence in Fatal Drunken-Driving Case Stirs 'Affluenza' Debate". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Richter, Marice (December 17, 2015). "Manhunt for Texas affluenza teen after he apparently goes missing". Reuters. Archived from the original on January 15, 2017. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- Perez, Evan (December 28, 2015). "'Affluenza' teen Ethan Couch detained in Mexico". CNN. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- Almasy, Steve; Watts, Amanda (January 2, 2020). "Ethan Couch, who killed four people in 'affluenza' case, arrested again in Texas". CNN. Archived from the original on July 18, 2020. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
- Mooney, Michael J. (May 2015). "The Worst Parents Ever: Inside the Story of Ethan Couch and the "Affluenza" Phenomenon". D Magazine. Archived from the original on January 24, 2020. Retrieved December 22, 2015.
- Schmall, Emily (January 1, 2016). "'Affluenza' teen grew up in wealthy but unstable home". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- Plushnick-Masti, Ramit (December 13, 2013). "'Spoiled-brat' defense keeps teen out of jail in DUI fatalities". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
- "Profile of Ethan Couch's parents, who attorneys argued spoiled him, made him irresponsible". WDAF-TV. CNN Wire. December 21, 2015. Archived from the original on June 20, 2016. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
- Woodward, Teresa (June 21, 2013). "Teen driver involved in deadly crash had prior alcohol citations". WFAA. Archived from the original on June 24, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
- Ramirez, Domingo Jr. (September 27, 2019). "Dad of 'affluenza teen' charged with assault, accused of choking girlfriend". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Archived from the original on September 30, 2019. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- Blair, Leonardo (December 17, 2013). "'Affluenza' Teen Ethan Couch's Wild Millionaire Parents Accused of Laundry List of Crimes and Traffic Violations". The Christian Post. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- Zakalik, Lauren (February 12, 2016). "Sheriff: Woman claims Couch's father choked her". WFAA. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- Norris, Mark (August 19, 2014). "Ethan Couch's father arrested for impersonating police officer". KDFW. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2014.
- ""Affluenza" teen's dad guilty of pretending to be officer". CBS News. Associated Press. December 15, 2016. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- Caplan, David (December 15, 2016). "'Affluenza' Teen's Father Guilty of Identifying Himself as Officer". ABC News. Archived from the original on April 21, 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- "Police called to home of 'affluenza' teen's dad, no charges". Fox News. February 12, 2016. Archived from the original on August 13, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- "'Affluenza Teen's Dad, Fred Couch Arrested For Allegedly Choking Girlfriend". KTVT. September 27, 2019. Archived from the original on September 28, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- Harris, Byron (December 17, 2013). "DA seeks jail time for Ethan Couch; more details arise in teen's background". WFAA. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
- Hallman, Tristan (July 9, 2013). "Sheriff: Speed and alcohol played roles in chaotic Tarrant County wreck that killed four". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
- "'Affluenza' teen Ethan Couch sought after probation officer lost contact". WDAF-TV. Associated Press. December 15, 2015. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- Klass, Caila; Valiente, Alexa (October 15, 2015). "'Affluenza' DUI Case: What Happened Night of the Accident That Left 4 People Dead". ABC News. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved December 28, 2015.
- Plushnick-Masti, Ramit. "Affluenza' isn't a recognized diagnosis, experts say after 'brat' spared from jail in drunk driving case". National Post. Associated Press. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- Muskal, Michael. "Texas teen's probation for killing 4 while driving drunk stirs anger". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- "Troubled teen is being treated at a state hospital in Vernon". Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Patinkin, Felicia. "U.S. 'Affluenza' DUI Case: Prosecutors Try Again to Put Teen Behind Bars". ABC News. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
- Walker, Tim (December 13, 2013). "Ethan Couch: Texas quadruple murderer – or a victim of 'affluenza'?". The Independent. London. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Patinkin, Felicia (December 18, 2013). "U.S. 'Affluenza' DUI Case: Prosecutors Try Again to Put Teen Behind Bars". ABC News. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
- Plushnick-Masti, Ramit (December 13, 2013). "'Affluenza' Defense Draws Criticism In Ethan Couch Sentence For Fatal DWI Wreck". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 15, 2013.
- Luther, Jessica (December 15, 2013). "Affluenza: the latest excuse for the wealthy to do whatever they want". The Guardian. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- Rosenberg, Robin (December 17, 2013). "There's No Defense for Affluenza". Slate. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- Bunt, Laura (December 15, 2019). "Family of Texas man who got 20 years for fatal drunk driving crash by same judge who sentenced Ethan Couch outraged". Daily News. New York. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Mitchell, Mitch (December 21, 2013). "Fatal crash in 2004 drew different sentence from Tarrant judge". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- "Sentences vary for drunken teens in fatal wrecks". The Courier of Montgomery County. The Associated Press. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
- "Rich Teen's Lenient Sentence Raises Questions About How to Handle Convicted Juveniles". The Root. December 13, 2013. Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. Retrieved February 9, 2014.
- "Ethan Couch sentence becomes issue in governor's race". December 15, 2013. Archived from the original on February 17, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
- Neil, Martha (February 6, 2014). "'Affluenza' teen on probation for fatal crash is sent to pricey rehab". ABA Journal. American Bar Association. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
- Christian, Carol (December 18, 2013). "Victims' families in Texas 'affluenza' case file multi-million dollar lawsuits". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved December 19, 2013.
- Janda, Greg (December 16, 2013). "Victims' Families File Lawsuits Against "Affluenza" Teen". KXAS-TV. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- Law Offices of Gerry Orth (December 30, 2013). "Plaintiffs' Original Petition and Requests for Disclosure, No. 048-269872-13". Retrieved March 13, 2015 – via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Law Offices of William K. Berenson (September 2013). "Plaintiffs' Original Petition and Requests for Disclosure, No. 096-267963-13" (PDF). Fort Worth Injury Attorney Blog. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- "Civil suits against Couch family combined". Cleburne Times-Review. January 10, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- "Families of two 'affluenza' case victims settle civil suits". WFAA. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- Ford, Dana; Presto, Suzanne (May 8, 2014). "Brain-injured teen receives $2 million in 'affluenza' case settlement". CNN. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- Villarreal, Mireya (November 10, 2014). "Who Am I To Not Forgive Ethan?". KTVT. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- Mitchell, Mitch (March 26, 2014). "Family wants a jury trial in civil suit against Couch". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- Patrice, Joe (August 6, 2014). "The Affluenza Kid And Privilege (This Time The Evidentiary Kind)". Above the Law. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- Court of Appeals; Second District of Texas (September 16, 2014). "Docket Number 02-14-00235-CV". Retrieved March 13, 2015 – via Court Listener.
- Mitchell, Mitch (October 9, 2015). "Couch family settles last suit in fatal wreck". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- @BlondeSpectre (December 2, 2015). "ya boy ethan couch violating probation. i got more if u want @CityofBurleson @TarrantCountyDA" (Tweet). Archived from the original on December 18, 2015 – via Twitter.
- Botelho, Greg (December 19, 2015). "Outrage, but not surprise over 'affluenza' teen on the lam". CNN. Archived from the original on November 18, 2016.
- "'Affluenza' teen Ethan Couch under investigation after Twitter user posts beer pong video". Crime Blog. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- Fantz, Ashley; Brumfield, Ben (December 16, 2015). "Ethan Couch of 'affluenza' fame missing from probation". CNN.
- "Warrant out for 'affluenza' Texas teen for suspected probation violation". Yahoo. December 17, 2015. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015.
- Holley, Peter (December 19, 2015). "U.S. Marshals offer $5,000 reward for 'affluenza teen' turned fugitive". The Washington Post.
- "'Affluenza' teen Ethan Couch detained in Mexico". CNN. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "Ethan Couch, 'Affluenza' Teenager, Had Last Party Before Fleeing, Officials Say". The New York Times. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "Ethan Couch, teen on probation in deadly 'affluenza' DUI, captured in Mexico, to be returned to U.S." CBC News. Associated Press. December 29, 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
- "'Affluenza' teen Ethan Couch delays deportation to U.S. by claiming Mexican authorities violated his human rights". Daily News. New York. Associated Press. January 1, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
- "Affluenza' Teen's Mom Deported From Mexico". NBC News. Retrieved January 16, 2016.
- Keneally, Meghan; Stevenson, Kelly (December 31, 2015). "'Affluenza' Mom Tonya Couch Arrested on Felony Charge". ABC News. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
- "'Affluenza' fugitive's mom posts reduced bond". WFAA. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
- ""Affluenza" Teen Ethan Couch On Plane Headed Back To Texas". KTVT. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
- "'Affluenza' teen tentatively gets 2 years". CNN. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
- "'Affluenza' case: Ethan Couch, who killed 4 in DUI wreck, set for release". CBS News. Associated Press. March 20, 2018. Archived from the original on February 21, 2020. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
- Park, Madison (April 2, 2018). "Ethan Couch of 'affluenza' case released from jail". CNN. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
- Eustachewich, Lia (April 2, 2018). "'Affluenza teen' walks free". New York Post. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- "MADD's statement in response to Ethan Couch, the 'affluenza teen's' release from jail" (Press release). Irving, TX: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. March 30, 2018. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- Brumfield, Loyd (March 22, 2019). "Judge allows 'affluenza teen' Ethan Couch to shed his ankle monitor". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
- Ramirez, Domingo Jr. (March 24, 2019). "Ethan Couch allowed to remove GPS monitor, but must comply with other probation rules". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Archived from the original on November 30, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- "Judge allows Ethan Couch to remove his ankle monitor". KDFW. March 21, 2019. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2020.
- Zarrell, Matt; Torres, Ella (January 3, 2020). "'Affluenza teen' Ethan Couch arrested for probation violation". ABC News. Archived from the original on June 28, 2020. Retrieved January 3, 2020.
- Gordon, Scott (January 3, 2020). "Ethan Couch Released from Jail One Day After His Arrest". KXAS-TV. Archived from the original on July 6, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.