Ethan Couch was quietly moved into an adult jail in Tarrant County on Friday afternoon.
Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said the decision to move the affluenza teen to adult jail was not made in formal hearing, but in a meeting with the judge and Couch's attorneys. Anderson said that no other parts of the case, mainly the potential transfer of the case from juvenile to adult court, had changed in status on Friday.
Couch arrived at the downtown Fort Worth jail about 1:45 p.m. Friday and was booked in less than an hour.. A new mugshot was taken of Couch (pictured in this story). Couch will be in his own jail cell, one of a few protections he will get.
“Steps will be taken to protect him as with all high-profile inmates,” Anderson said. “Some of the things that were being done were being done to protect him for his own safety.”
Anderson said Couch was soft-spoken and compliant with everything he was asked to do.
Couch remains held without bond. Couch will have a Feb. 12 hearing to address where he is housed and a separate hearing on Feb. 19 hearing on whether the case will be transferred from the juvenile system to the adult system.
Authorities believe Couch and his mother fled Texas in her pickup truck in early December, after an online video appeared to show Couch at a party where people were drinking. Couch was sentenced to 10 years' probation in juvenile court for the 2013 wreck that killed four people and injured several others. The terms prohibit him from drinking or leaving Tarrant County.
Tonya Couch is now under house arrest at her oldest son’s home in Fort Worth.
During the trial in the juvenile case, a defense witness argued that the then-16-year-old Couch had been coddled into a sense of irresponsibility by his wealthy parents. The expert deemed the condition "affluenza," which isn't recognized as a medical diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association and drew widespread derision.