Infamous “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch is officially back in the U.S. and was booked into a Texas juvenile-detention center after he was deported from Mexico on Thursday morning, the Associated Press reports.
Couch, 18, who is accused of fleeing the country with his mother while prosecutors were investigating a possible probation violation, was brought into Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport late Thursday morning, the newswire notes.
The teen, who became notorious for using an "affluenza" defense after killing four people in a drunken driving crash when he was 16, initially fought his deportation but dropped his appeal earlier this week and was immediately sent back to the U.S.
His mother, who is facing charges for allegedly helping her son flee, was deported last month after the pair were caught in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
"We've reached a great milestone," Tarrant County, Texas, Sheriff Dee Anderson said Thursday, according to AP. "This is a day we've looked forward to, when we have them both here and back under the jurisdiction here. We're hoping that the day comes for justice for the families and the four victims that were killed."
According to AP, Couch is scheduled to appear before a judge Friday, at which point it will be determined whether he will be moved to an adult facility. The sheriff said that he would support this move, given Couch's offenses. Couch is also facing a separate hearing Feb. 19 to determine whether his case should be transferred to the adult system.
"He's certainly capable of understanding now what's going on, and I'd feel better if he was there [in an adult jail]," Anderson said.
It is believed that Couch and his mother fled the country after an online video surfaced appearing to show the teen at a party where people were drinking. As part of Couch's 10-year probation for the drunken driving incident, he cannot consume alcohol.
Couch's attorneys said Thursday that they are "optimistic" that the teen will complete his probation without any further incidents, predicting that the judge will keep Couch in the juvenile center until February's hearing, AP notes.
If the case does stay in the juvenile system, Couch could be held in the detention center for violating probation until he turns 19 in April, at which point he would become eligible for parole, AP notes.
If, however, the case is moved to the adult system, Couch could spend up to 120 days in jail before serving the remainder of his 10-year probation as an adult. If he violates probation while in the adult system, he could face up to 10 years in prison for each death caused by his drunken driving crash.
Read more at the Associated Press.