FORT WORTH (CN) – Texas authorities have issued an arrest warrant for teenage “affluenza” killer Ethan Couch for failing to report to his juvenile probation officer, his attorneys said.
“It’s our understanding that the court has issued a directive to apprehend, to have Ethan detained because he is out of contact with his probation officer,” his attorneys said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
The attorneys, Reagan Wynn and Scott Brown of Fort Worth, said the probation officer has been unable to reach Couch or his mother for days. Couch, 18, has been living with his mother.
“We do not have any further information concerning this situation,” his attorneys said. “It would not be appropriate for us to publicly discuss this matter further at this time.”
NBC and ABC News in Texas reported Tuesday evening that an arrest warrant has been issued.
Tarrant County district attorney spokesman Sam Jordan declined to confirm whether Couch missed the meeting or if an arrest warrant had been issued, as the case is still in juvenile court. “We can confirm only that we are looking into the whereabouts of Ethan Couch and his mother,” Jordan told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Couch – and his judge – sparked national outrage when the judge sentenced him to 10 years probation and therapy for the 2013 drunk driving deaths of four people who were helping the driver of a stranded vehicle on the side of a road in south Fort Worth.
Couch, then 16, drunk on stolen beer, drove the truck that killed mother and daughter Hollie and Shelby Boyles, youth pastor Brian Jennings and Breanna Mitchell.
Authorities said Couch was driving as much as 30 mph over the speed limit and had a blood alcohol level of 0.24 – three times the legal limit for adults. It is illegal for a minor to drive with any alcohol in his system.
Defendant psychologist Dr. G. Dick Miller testified at trial that Couch was a product of “affluenza:” that his family felt their wealth bought privilege and that there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.
Miller testified that Couch’s parents gave him “freedoms no young person should have.”
Couch could have been sentenced to 20 years in state prison.
He faces up to 10 years if he is found to have violated terms of probation.
Couch’s disappearance comes two weeks after Tarrant County authorities began investigating a 6-second video posted on Twitter that claims to show Couch playing beer pong with three other young men.
Couch is prohibited from drinking alcohol under terms of his probation.
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