“Affluenza teen” Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, are reportedly being detained by Mexican authorities after a manhunt by U.S. Marshals that lasted for weeks.
According to news network CNN, both mother and son were caught by Mexican authorities and were taken into custody near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Ethan, 18, was sentenced to a 10-year probation after killing four people in a drunk driving incident. He will be turned over to U.S. Marshals, who joined the investigations after he failed to meet his probation officer and fled to Mexico.
“Affluenza” teen and his mother have been detained in Mexico, authorities say. https://t.co/EbegdpXZpH
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) December 29, 2015
He disappeared along with his mother earlier this month after a video of him participating in a beer pong game reached the authorities, a clear violation of his probation. Tonya, who was believed to be assisting her son in his escape, was listed by Texas authorities as a missing person.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 21, 2015
Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson admitted he cannot confirm the reports as of now but also said he has been in contact with the U.S. Marshals Service and is still waiting for verification. A sum of $5,000 has been offered to anyone who can provide information on his whereabouts.
The controversial affluenza teen, who was 16 at the time of the incident, made headlines with his camp’s “affluenza” defense, which claimed that the defendant did not seem to have a sense of responsibility since his wealthy parents did not set limits for him. A psychologist appeared before the court to testify that he suffered from a “disorder” called affluenza, which led to a decision by the judge to penalize him with a probation of 10 years despite requests from prosecutors that Ethan be sentenced to 20 years’ prison time.
Psychologist Dick Miller Explains Behavior of Affluenza Teen Ethan Couch
Former State District Judge Jean Boyd laid down the conditions of the teenager’s probation, which included a recommendation to attend a rehabilitation facility.
The viral video of the affluenza teen participating in a drinking game at a party revived controversy over the case.
District Attorney Sharen Wilson agreed that the teenager in the video “certainly looks like him” but also added that it was not enough to prove that he defied his probation. However, leaving the country and failing to check in with his probation officer are obvious violations, Wilson added.
Ethan could face 10 years of jail time if authorities could prove that he indeed disobeyed the probation conditions set for him.
Lawyers for the affluenza teen, William Reagan Wynn and Scott Brown, reportedly said they are aware that the authorities were probing whether their client violated his probation terms.
“It would not be prudent for us to make any further statement on Ethan’s behalf until the investigations are concluded and it is determined what, if any, action will be taken against him,” Ethan’s legal representatives added.
A request to move Ethan’s case from juvenile court to adult court will be heard after the affluenza teen turns 19.
On the evening of June 2013, Brian Jennings, 41, a youth pastor, Hollie Boyles, 52, and daughter Shelby Boyles, 21, stopped to help Breanna Mitchell 24, after her SUV had broken down. The then 16-year-old affluenza teen crashed into the vehicle parked on the side of the road, killing four people in the process and injuring two others.
Tests showed that Ethan’s blood alcohol content was 0.24 percent at the time of the drunken driving incident, which is three times the normal limit for an adult.
Friend of Affluenza Teen Suffers Paralysis and Severe Brain Damage Due to Accident
His friends, Soliman Mohmand and Sergio Molina, were among the injured victims. They were thrown from the Ford pickup which the affluenza teen was driving. As a result, Mohmand sustained broken bones and internal injuries while Molina suffered severe brain injury, which rendered him immobile and unable to speak.
[Image via YouTube]