‘Affluenza’ Teen Ethan Couch to Return to Texas to Face Charges

The Mexican lawyer for Couch says that the Texas teen has decided to drop an appeal to prevent his deportation.

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Infamous “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch is going to drop an appeal against his deportation from Mexico and will return to Texas to face the charges awaiting him there, his lawyer in Mexico, Fernando Benitez, revealed, according to The Guardian

Couch reportedly formally decided to drop the appeal Monday. 

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

“I have people at the courthouse … waiting for notification that the appeal has formally been dropped,” Benitez said. “Once the injunction is removed, they will deport Ethan in 24 or 48 hours.”

Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, were detained in Mexico in December. His mother was sent back to the U.S. almost immediately but was released from jail after posting bail. The pair are accused of fleeing the country after Texas prosecutors launched an investigation into whether he violated the conditions of his probation after he was seen in a video at a party with alcohol. 

Tonya Couch has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted, The Guardian notes. 

Ethan Couch was given 10 years’ probation as a 16-year-old after his drunken driving caused the death of four people in his home state. At the time, Ethan Couch’s defense claimed that he suffered from “affluenza,” a result of never having faced consequences for his actions because of his family’s wealth. 

Upon Ethan Couch’s anticipated return to Texas, the teen will be held in a juvenile detention center and a juvenile judge will then decide whether to hold him at that facility, put him in an adult jail or let him go. 

A separate hearing is currently scheduled for Feb. 19, where it would be determined whether Ethan Couch’s case should be transferred to the adult system. If Couch is transferred and is caught violating his probation again, he could face up to 10 years in prison for each death, The Guardian notes. 

Read more at The Guardian

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