Police have launched an investigation into a video that allegedly shows a wealthy Texan teenager – who killed four people whilst drink driving – amongst revellers at a party, possibly in violation of his probation.
Ethan Couch, 18, was trialled in juvenile court and was spared a prison sentence, but was given 10 years probation for intoxication manslaughter, which bans him from drinking alcohol.
Called as an expert witness by Couch’s lawyers, a psychologist said the teen had “affluenza”- a condition where a large amount of wealth blinded him from being responsible for his own actions.
The probation sentence was a catalyst for a public backlash as The American Psychiatric Association does not recognize “affluenza” as a diagnosis and many believed his family’s wealth shielded the teen from a more serious punishment.
Law enforcement authorities are now investigating the claims that Couch violated his probation after a six-second video was posted on Twitter by a user on Wednesday.
It shows a few people playing a game of beer pong and the camera pans to a lad who resembles the rich teenager jumping and clapping during the match.
Couch – who was 16 at the time of the deadly crash – had a blood-alcohol level that was almost three times over the legal limit when he was speeding, before losing control of his pick-up truck.
His truck collided with the driver of a car that had broken down by the side of the road and three other people who had stopped to help the driver back in June 2013. Four other people were injured, two seriously, in the horrific crash south of Fort Worth.
The kid served time in a youth detention centre, but is no longer in custody.
— h (@BlondeSpectre) December 2, 2015
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office has begun transferring Couch’s supervision from juvenile to adult court and a hearing on the transfer is pending.