TIME Crime

‘Affluenza’ Teen Transferred to Adult Jail

Ethan Couch
Tarrant County Sheriff's Department/AP Ethan Couch appears in a booking photo on Feb. 5, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Prosecutors requested Couch be moved to the maximum security facility

Ethan Couch, known for his lawyer’s use of “affluenza” as a legal defense after Couch killed four people in a drunken-driving accident in 2013, was transferred from juvenile detention to an adult jail on Friday.

Couch, 18, was moved to Tarrant County jail’s maximum security unit in Fort Worth, Texas, and is in a single-cell for his own protection, USA Today reported.

“He is still under all the juvenile law restrictions, all that,” Sheriff Dee Anderson said in a press conference on Friday. “He is held without bond. He cannot post bond as a juvenile.”

Couch was sentenced to 10 years probation in 2013 for the drunken-driving incident. He was again arrested in December after violating his probation and fleeing to Mexico with his mother.

Prosecutors requested last week that Couch be transferred to the adult jail. The advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving launched a campaign last month to get Couch’s case moved from juvenile to adult court, arguing it would ensure he is held accountable.

“He’s an adult,” Anderson said on Friday, noting Couch’s upcoming 19th birthday. “He doesn’t need to be housed in a juvenile detention facility. That’s my opinion.”

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