FORT WORTH, Texas - Ethan Couch, known for his "affluenza" legal defense strategy as a teenager, was released from jail Monday morning.
Couch left the Tarrant County Detention Center around 9 a.m. and was immediately taken to the county's adult probation office to be fitted with an ankle monitor. He remained silent as he walked out of the building with his attorney just before 11:30 a.m. He kept his head down and climbed into the back of a black Tesla.
Couch, who will turn 21 years old next week, will be required to wear an ankle monitor that will also test for alcohol. He’ll have a curfew and will only be allowed to take prescribed drugs until he completes his probation in 2024.
Couch’s attorneys issued a statement about his release. He asked for privacy and said his client is planning to stay out of trouble.
“He will now serve the remaining six years of his period of community supervision under the terms and conditions imposed by the court. From the beginning, Ethan has admitted his conduct, accepted responsibility for his actions and felt true remorse for the terrible consequences for those actions. Now nearly five years after this horrific event, Ethan does not wish to draw attention to himself and requests privacy so he may focus on successfully completing his community supervision and going forward as a law-abiding citizen,” said his attorneys Scott Brown and Reagan Wynn.
Ethan has been behind bars for two years for violating the terms of his probation and fleeing to Mexico with his mother, Tonya Couch.
He was convicted five years ago for a drunken driving crash that killed four people in southeast Fort Worth. He was 16 at the time and sentenced to probation after his attorney convinced a judge that due to his wealthy upbringing he did not know right from wrong.
In a recent interview with FOX4, Tarrant County Prosecutor Richard Alpert said he couldn’t have asked for anything more from the judge when it came to Couch’s probation.
“There is no perfect thing, but there's nothing that I would have asked for to be added as a condition of probation the judge hasn't already put there,” Alpert said.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving calls the whole story a tragedy.
“He killed four people. I mean, these people were on the side of the road helping others. It was a grave injustice,” said Colleen Sheehey-Church, the national president of MADD. “Unfortunately, watching this particular young man was very tough to watch because there was no remorse.”
Couch's mother was arrested last week after failing a test for drugs and alcohol. She was free on bond, charged with helping her son flee to Mexico.