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'Affluenza' teen jailed in Texas

BBC News BBC News 13/04/2016
Ethan Couch is led by sheriff deputies after a juvenile court for a hearing in Fort Worth, Texas © AP Ethan Couch is led by sheriff deputies after a juvenile court for a hearing in Fort Worth, Texas

A Texas teen who avoided prison over a fatal drink-driving crash by claiming he suffered from "affluenza" has been sentenced to nearly two years in jail.

In 2013, Ethan Couch killed four people when he rammed his truck into a crowd, but he avoided prison.

On Wednesday, the 19-year-old was ordered to serve four consecutive 180-day jail sentences - one for each of his victims.

He broke his probation when he fled to Mexico in December.

It is thought he took flight because a video emerged of him at a house party, and any evidence he had been drinking alcohol might have seen him put behind bars.

A psychologist at his original trial argued that his privileged upbringing meant his parents had not taught the then 16-year-old a sense of responsibility.

The expert called the condition "affluenza", a term not recognised by the American Psychiatric Association.

Couch was sentenced to 10 years' probation and a stint in a rehabilitation centre. That sentence was roundly criticised at the time as too lenient.

Although prosecutors were limited due to Couch's age, his current sentence was longer than expected.

If he had violated his probation as an adult, he could have faced decades in prison.

No longer a minor, Couch will serve his time in an adult prison.

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