Although attorneys for “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch blocked authorities from sending the teen back to the U.S., his mother Tonya Coach was put on an airplane on Wednesday evening, en route to Los Angeles.
CNN reports that Tonya Couch, 48, left Mexico on Wednesday, on a plane to Los Angeles, and eventually into Tarrant County, Texas, where she’ll face a third-degree felony charge of hindering the apprehension of a juvenile. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison. The information came in from Mexican officials just hours after Ethan Couch was allowed a stay in Mexico under a law similar to the U.S. habeas corpus, which means it may take anywhere from weeks to months to get the teen deported back home.
BREAKING: Mexican officials confirm Tonya Couch has been deported to the U.S. Ethan Couch remains in Guadalajara. pic.twitter.com/ySXEHbackt
— CBSDFW (@CBSDFW) December 30, 2015
Tonya Couch was sent back to the U.S. after officials didn’t receive a judge’s injunction like her son did, which blocks authorities from deporting him, at least for now. Fox 4 News reports that the information was sent anonymously by a Mexican official who indicated that he wasn’t privy to discuss anything else about the matter.
According to Richard Hunter, the chief deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service in South Texas, both Tonya Couch and Ethan Couch filed separate writs of amparo, which, if approved, temporarily stops them from being deported while their cases are sent to immigration court. For reasons unknown at this time, a judge’s injunction was handed down only for Ethan.
It’s unclear who escorted Tonya Coach on the flight back to the U.S., but if she wasn’t accompanied by a U.S. Marshals, she’d be detained after U.S. Customs officers run her name through their database once she arrives. Yet, if a marshal arrived with her at the Los Angeles airport, they would be able to proceed onto the next flight just like other travelers.
— Fil Alvarado (@FilAlvaradoFox4) December 31, 2015
Meanwhile, as of late Wednesday evening, Ethan Couch had been taken from Guadalajara to Mexico City, to a larger facility that’s equipped to handle and detain migrants who may be in the country for weeks or months.
Ethan Couch and his mother disappeared from Burleson, Texas, earlier this month, after he missed a scheduled probation meeting. The meeting is part of the teen’s 10-year probation sentence stemming from a 2013 DUI incident in which Ethan killed four people and injured several others after plowing into innocent bystanders who were working on a broke-down car on the side of a road.
"There's no justice" says brother of Sergio Molina – teen paralyzed by Ethan Couch drunk crash. Exclusive at 10 pic.twitter.com/uNxgsvLslF
— Richard Ray (@RichardRayFox4) December 31, 2015
The “Affluenza” Teen
Ethan’s sentence for his crime – probation, and inpatient counseling – sparked outrage across the nation. To add fuel to the fire, a myriad of people were furious that a then 16-year-old Ethan Couch was given the light sentence after a psychiatrist claimed that the teen suffers from “affluenza,” a term that describes a child who grew up in a wealthy home and was never taught boundaries.
Despite Judge Jean Boyd, the presiding judge over Ethan’s case, denying that her decision to give him a light sentence had anything to do with his affluenza status, the term struck a chord with many, who felt the judge made a grave mistake. Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, who has been involved in the case since the teen was placed on probation, predicted that giving Ethan Couch a small sentence would only lead to negative things happening in the future.
“I predicted two years ago that something bad was going to happen like this. I wasn’t surprised at all that he ran, particularly in light of the video that had surfaced … I had been expecting something like this for the last two years.”
Attorneys for Tonya Couch have yet to comment on her deportation back to the U.S.
[Photo Courtesy of the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office]