Putting an end to his monthlong stay in Mexico, uniformed Mexican immigration agents put “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch aboard a commercial flight to Dallas Texas Thursday morning.
Reuters reported that Couch departed Mexico City at 8:50 a.m. local time (1450 GMT) aboard Aeromexico flight 2682 heading for Dallas, the migration department said. The flight is due to land in Dallas at 11:12 a.m. (1712 GMT), according to FlightStats.com.
Mexico’s immigration institute said that Couch was taken to the Mexico City airport from an immigration holding center where he had been held. Ethan had used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving accident.
Video released by the immigration institute showed Couch wearing a bluish camouflage-print hoodie, being escorted out of the detention center before dawn, and being escorted onto the plane by four agents.
Ethan was put on probation after killing four people in a drunk driving accident in 2013. He and his mother Tonya Couch were the subjects of an international manhunt after he missed a mandatory check-in as part of his probation.
Couch and his mother, Tonya, were detained in the resort of Puerto Vallarta in December. His mother was quickly sent back to the U.S. She was released after posting bail.
The agents did not appear to be armed. The Associated Press reported that the institute said that upon arrival in Dallas, Couch “will be met by U.S. authorities and face various charges.”
Couch formally ratified his decision to drop an appeal against deportation on Monday.
During sentencing in the drunken-driving trial, a psychologist hired by the defense testified that Ethan was a product of “affluenza” — a term he used to describe his rash and irresponsible lifestyle associated with his affluent upbringing. Ethan had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit on the night of the crash.
Authorities have said they suspect the duo fled to Mexico in November as prosecutors investigated a video uploaded on social media which appeared to show Ethan Couch among a group of young men playing a drinking game.
The country district attorney’s office said that Couch is scheduled to appear before a Tarrant County, Texas, on January 19 to determine if his juvenile case can be transferred to an adult court.
Representatives from Mothers Against Drunk Driving will also be present in the courtroom, according to a statement made by the organization. MADD National President Colleen Sheehey-Church, whose 18-year-old son Dustin was killed by an underage drunk and drugged driver, said,
“Transferring Couch to adult court gives the criminal justice system the opportunity to hold him accountable by ensuring his probation extends beyond his 19th birthday in April 2016. Couch is not a child. His actions are not that of a child, and everything possible must be done to hold him accountable and to ensure that Couch has no more victims.”
Texas authorities were aggratvateed by the fact that Couch, who got sentenced to 10 years probation but no jail time, had gone AWOL.
Ethan Couch was 16 when he crashed his pickup into a 24-year-old woman whose vehicle had broken down, killing her and three others who had stopped to help.
Breanna Mitchell, 18, had broken down at the side of a highway in Texas and was trying to fix her vehicle alongside Hollie Boyles and her daughter Shelby, who lived nearby, and youth minister Brian Jennings, who had also stopped to help.
Couch left the road while traveling at 70mph and hit the group, killing all of them, and paralyzing friend Sergio Molina from the neck down after he was thrown clear of the truck.
‘Affluenza’ is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as an official diagnosis. Judge Jean Boyd accepted it leading to a lot of criticism.