Sun | Sep 24, 2017

'Affluenza' teen found in Mexico

Published:Wednesday | December 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM
This December 28, 2015 photo, released by Mexico’s Jalisco state prosecutor’s office, shows who authorities identify as Ethan Couch, after he was taken into custody in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

DALLAS, Texas (AP):

A Texas sheriff said Tuesday an arrest warrant will be issued for a Texas woman who was found with her son in Mexico, a teenager on probation after killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck and invoking an 'affluenza' defence.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said at a news conference that the warrant would be issued for Tonya Couch on charges of hindering and apprehension.

Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutors' office said 18-year-old Ethan Couch and his mother were located and detained Monday evening in the Pacific Coast resort city of Puerto Vallarta.

Anderson said it appears the two planned their disappearance and even held something of a going-away party. He said the US Marshals Service was working to get the two returned to the United States.

sent back

Ricardo Ariel Vera, the representative of Mexico's immigration institute in the western state of Jalisco, said the mother and son were being held at immigration offices in the state capital, Guadalajara, and would have been returned to the United States aboard a commercial flight to Houston sometime yesterday.

"They are going to be sent back to their country, given that they were in Mexico improperly," Ariel Vera said. "They would have had to enter, for example, as tourists, but they entered without registering."

During the sentencing phase of Couch's trial, a defence expert argued that Couch's wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility a condition the expert termed "affluenza". The condition is not recognised as a medical diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, and its invocation drew widespread ridicule.

Couch's attorneys, Scott Brown and Reagan Wynn, said in a statement they would not comment on the case until they speak with their client, which likely won't happen before Couch reaches the US.

Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutors' office said in a statement that its agents had been working with American authorities via the US Consulate in Guadalajara since December 26 to track down and capture the two.

Couch and his mother were found in a dowdy section of Puerto Vallarta's old town, far from the glitzy resorts, golf courses and high-rise hotels of the city's newer section.