The “affluenza” teen, Ethan Couch, who was let off easy by a judge after killing four people in a drunk driving incident, fled to Mexico with his mother after he was caught on video breaking his parole terms. Instead of facing the judge once more, the teen and his mother went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in a bid for Ethan to avoid jail time. However, the pair weren’t just hanging out on the beach. It seems that Ethan Couch was spending copious amounts of money on a variety of vices, from hookers to alcohol, while hiding from the police. In fact, the affluenza teen spent over $2,000 at one Puerto Vallarta strip club before handing the bill over to his mother. However, the teen’s mom was unable to pay for the full tab, so the spoiled teen handed over his Rolex watch as collateral.
The Daily Mail reports that while affluenza teen Ethan Couch was on the run with his mother Tonya, he didn’t stop living his party lifestyle. The teen allegedly racked up a tab of over $2,000 at a Puerto Vallarta strip club called Harem. Employees at the club say that the teen partied with two women in a private room while drinking heavily. After maxing out his debit cards, Couch was still $345 short on his bill. Therefore, the teen was escorted by one of the club’s waiters back to his hotel to retrieve the additional funds. However, neither Ethan or his mother Tonya could come up with the $345 that night, so they left the teen’s Rolex watch as collateral that they would return to pay the bill the next day.
Despite leaving his Rolex, the Harem club employees say the pair were never seen again and never came into the establishment to settle their outstanding tab or retrieve the Rolex. In fact, it seems the pair may have been running from their outstanding strip club debt, as shortly after the incident, the pair left their hotel room without ever checking out with the front desk. Ethan and his mother moved to a condo, where they would eventually be arrested by police.
Interestingly, after the arrest, affluenza teen Ethan Couch was able to fight immediate deportation back to the United States, but his mother, Tonya, was not. Instead, Tonya was extradited back to the United States, where she faces charges of hindering apprehension of a felon. Tonya faces up to 10 years in prison for helping her son flee to Mexico, but her son may, again, get off light.
Ethan Couch, if deported back to the United States, will face a judge regarding his alleged parole violations. Though his mother is facing 10 years, Ethan will only face up to 120 days in jail for breaching his juvenile probation, despite fleeing the country to avoid his parole hearing. When Ethan Couch originally faced charges of killing four people in a drunk driving accident, the judge ruled that he would not spend any time behind bars and would instead have 10 years of probation. As part of his probationary terms, Couch was told he could not drink alcohol.
The light sentence was given due to the fact that the teen grew up in a wealthy home and had no rules set by his parents. Therefore, his lawyer claimed he was unable to link his behavior with negative outcomes. A psychologist, hired as an expert by the defense, testified in court that the teen was a product of this “affluenza” and was unable to link his bad behavior with consequences because of his parents teaching him that wealth buys privilege. The judge seemed to buy the psychologist’s statements, and sentenced Couch to just 10 years of probation with no jail time.
However, it seems that Ethan’s affluenza continued, even after his stint in an upscale rehabilitation facility. A video of Ethan Couch allegedly playing beer pong showed the teen surrounded by young people drinking, despite being ordered by court to avoid alcohol. Therefore, it was speculated that Couch has broke his parole terms and would need to face a judge for the violation.
VIDEO: Lawyer visits “affluenza” teen in Mexico City detention center: https://t.co/6I1TB1lDvy
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 6, 2016
Instead of showing up for a parole hearing, Ethan fled to Mexico with his mother and dyed his hair black in an attempt to hide his identity. Couch is now awaiting deportation in a Mexico jail but his family, once again, has hired him an all-star lawyer to plead his case. The hotshot Mexican defense lawyer, Fernando Benitez, has taken on the Couch case and is fighting deportation measures against the teen and has currently won the teen a stay in Mexico.
What do you think of the Ethan Couch affluenza case? Will this teen ever learn his lesson if he keeps getting handed light sentences even after fleeing the country?
[Image via AP]