'Affluenza' Teen On Probation For 2013 Killings Is Thought To Be On The Run, Officials Issue Arrest Warrant

| by Nicholas Roberts
Ethan Couch During his 2013 trialEthan Couch During his 2013 trial

The Texas teenager who avoided jail after killing 4 people in 2013 while driving drunk has reportedly failed to check in with his probation officer, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.  The problem?  No one seems to know where he is, and officials fear that he may have even fled the country.

Ethan Couch, 18, was sentenced to 10 years probation in 2013 and was later ordered to attend a rehab facility, as well as to not drive, drink alcohol or use drugs.  

The verdict initially sparked public outrage due to the lack of jail time ordered by the judge presiding over the case, and became well-known for the defense's invocation of Couch's "affluenza": it was claimed that Couch's wealth and upbringing made him apparently unaware of the effect his actions would have.

Couch was in the news again earlier in December after a video posted to Twitter raised suspicions that he was violating the terms of his probation.  WFAA posted the video, posted on Twitter on Dec. 2, to its website, which shows another teenager jumping onto a beer pong table stacked with beer cans.  Couch, or someone who looks extremely similar to him, is seen laughing in the background.

The Dallas Morning News reports that Couch is suspected of missing an appointment with his probation officer, which would be a violation resulting in jail time.

Couch's defense team has reportedly not been in contact with him, and authorities say that his whereabouts are unknown.  While he may still be in the United States, his family has the resources that would allow him to flee.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said on Dec. 16:

“With the wealth and the wherewithal that his family has, it’s going to be a tough assignment for us to find him.” 

ABC News reported on the same day that an arrest warrant has been issued for Couch.  The Tarrant District Attorney's office has also been unable to locate Couch's mother, whom the teen reportedly lives with.

Colleen Sheehey-Church, national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, warned others to be on the look out for Couch.  She said in a statement on Dec. 16:

“Affluenza aside, Ethan Couch appears to show blatant disregard for the law, and he must be held accountable.  The families impacted will never have their loved ones back. Ethan Couch must have consequences for his actions.”

Sources: Dallas Morning NewsABC NewsWFAA / Photo Credit: Screenshot via Youtube