'Affluenza' teen's request to remove judge from case denied

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Efforts by lawyers for "affluenza" teenager Ethan Couch to have the judge in his case removed, which could have resulted in his release from jail, have failed.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the request was denied Thursday.

Couch's attorneys had argued this week that Texas District Judge Wayne Salvant has no authority over Couch because the teen's case should be considered a civil case.

But prosecutor Richard Alpert argued Couch's case "ceased to be a civil case when it was transferred from juvenile to felony court."

The 19-year-old Couch is serving nearly two years in a North Texas jail for a 2013 drunken-driving wreck that killed four people.

Couch's case drew broad attention because a psychologist at trial blamed his actions on affluenza — acting irresponsibly due to wealth.