Lawyers for Ethan Couch have appealed to the Texas Supreme Court in their attempt to free the “affluenza” teen from jail.
Attorneys Reagan Wynn and Scott Brown filed a petition for a writ of mandamus Friday, arguing that state District Judge Wayne Salvant did not have the authority last April to send Couch to the Tarrant County Jail for 720 days as a condition of his probation.
Couch, 19, remains in jail.
He was sentenced as a juvenile to 10 years’ probation for killing four people in a drunken driving crash in 2013. Salvant was assigned Couch’s case when it was transferred to adult court when he turned 19.
Wynn and Brown have been fighting Salvant’s ruling for almost a year. Their motion to remove Salvant from the case was denied in September. The 2nd Court of Appeals denied their appeal in February.
In their petition to the state Supreme Court, the attorneys wrote that Couch’s case should not have been transferred to Salvant’s Criminal District Court No. 2 because it should be treated as a civil matter.
The attorneys have also argued that Salvant has a financial interest in Couch’s case because Couch could sue the judge for wrongful incarceration.
Couch first drew attention in June 2013, when he crashed his Ford F-150 pickup into several good Samaritans helping the driver of a disabled vehicle, killing four people in southern Tarrant County.
At his trial, a psychologist testified that Couch had not learned right from wrong because of his parents and his wealthy upbringing, a condition the psychologist called “affluenza.”
In December 2015, Couch skipped a probation appointment and fled to Mexico with his mother, Tonya Couch, after a video surfaced that appeared to show him partying, a violation of his probation. The Couches were captured in Puerto Vallarta several weeks later.
Tonya Couch was later indicted on charges of money laundering and hindering the apprehension of a fugitive. She is awaiting trial.