Officials announced today that an arrest warrant is being issued for Ethan Couch’s mother, Tonya Couch, for preplanning and helping the “affluenza” teen leave the country.
The Chicago Tribune reports that according to Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, authorities are currently getting an arrest warrant issued on Tonya Couch, 48, for hindering an apprehension. Hindering an apprehension, a third-degree felony, carries a sentence of anywhere from two to 10 years in prison, should she be found guilty.
Both mom and son are currently still in Mexico, but authorities are expected to officially “expel” them from ever entering the country again.
Meanwhile, since Ethan Couch, 18, was still a juvenile when placed on probation, he won’t face any additional charges for fleeing the country. Authorities plan to certify the “affluenza” teen as an adult before his 19th birthday next year, which will force him to do 120 days in jail. If he isn’t certified as an adult before he turns 19, his probation sentence may be overturned.
Ethan Couch’s attorneys, Scott Brown and Reagan Wynn, refused to comment on the mom and son’s capture, or talk about anything else relating to the case until they speak with Ethan himself, which more than likely will not happen until they are transferred back to the U.S.
Both Tonya Couch and Ethan Couch were being held at the immigration office in Guadalajara, but according to Jalisco’s representative of Mexico’s immigration institute, Ricardo Ariel Vera, they are expected to be transferred back to the U.S. today via a commercial airline.
As Inquisitr reported last week, authorities believed that Tonya Couch drove her Ford F-150 pickup truck across the Texas state line to hide her son from the police. Officials stated today that Tonya Couch did, indeed, flee the state with her son in her truck, and the pair traveled over 1,200 miles to Mexico without detection, most likely because they had a head start before authorities began looking for them.
Police state that the pair were found in a lower end part of Puerto Vallarta, a resort town in Mexico known for its high-rise hotels, glamorous resorts, and immaculate golf courses. The wealthy family chose a plain area with sporadic taco stands and mom-and-pop type corners stores nearby, apparently in an attempt to lay low. Both mom and son also changed their appearance. Tanya Couch cut her usual shoulder-length hair to a shorter style, while Ethan Couch dyed his normally blonde hair to black.
Authorities began looking for Ethan after he skipped out on his scheduled probation meeting earlier this month, a requirement after he was sentenced to 10 years of supervised probation after being found guilty of killing four people and injuring several others in a 2013 drunk driving incident.
Ethan Couch previously attended all of his probation meetings, but when a video of him allegedly playing beer pong with his friends surfaced online, he fled the country in apparent attempt to evade arrest for violating his probation, which mandates he stay away from alcohol.
[Photo by Jalisco State Prosecutorís Office/AP]