‘Affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch flown back to Texas

Mexican immigration agents put ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch aboard a commercial flight to Texas, ending his month-long stay in Mexico.

Mexico’s immigration institute said that Mr Couch, who used an ‘affluenza’ defence in a fatal drunken-driving accident, was taken to the Mexico City airport from an immigration holding centre where he had been held.

Mr Couch was detained with his mother Tonya in the resort of Puerto Vallarta in December.

His mother was quickly sent back to the US.

She was released after posting bail.

However, lawyers for Mr Couch filed an appeal against deportation, delaying his return.

The institute said that, upon arrival in Dallas, Mr Couch was “ met by US authorities and faces various charges”.

Mr Couch’s Mexican lawyer, Fernando Benitez, said Mr Couch formally ratified his decision to drop the appeal on Monday.

“I gave him several options, but he decided to go to Texas to face whatever charges he faces,” Benitez said.

While the appeal had centreed on whether Mr Couch should have been afforded a longer extradition process rather than deportation, in the end the Mexican government simply called it “an assisted return”.

Ms Couch’s arrest affidavit alleges that she and her 18-year-old son fled the state in December as Texas prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation in the case of a 2013 wreck that killed four people.

Mother and son were taken into custody later that month in Puerto Vallarta, after a call for pizza delivery tipped off authorities to their whereabouts.

Ms Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

During Mr Couch’s trial, a defence witness said the teenager was coddled into a sense of irresponsibility by his wealthy parents, a condition the expert called ‘affluenza’.

The condition is not recognised as a medical diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, and its invocation drew widespread ridicule.


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