DA Wants to Move 'Affluenza' Teen Ethan Couch's Case to Adult Court

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Mexican authorities arrested the Couches at 6 p.m. Monday in Colonia 5 de Diciembre, a neighborhood on the southern end of Puerto Vallarta, according to the Jalisco State prosecutor's office.

Ethan Couch, infamously known as 'Affluenza Teen,' drew hate from all over the world when he got off on light sentencing after his drunk driving led to the deaths of four people in 2013.

Couch could face a maximum sentence of four months in the juvenile system, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson said.

As it pertains to Couch's conviction DA Wilson explained, "We are bound by the sentence that he received from the juvenile court - which was a 10-year probated sentence".

Susan Cloud, a friend of Brian Jennings, one of those killed, said she felt conflicted about what should happen to Couch, but wished he had not thrown away his second chance under his probation. Prosecutors had sought a 20-year prison term, but judges handed him a surprise sentence of mental-health treatment and a decade of probation.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Mexican official said Tonya Couch was placed on a flight to Los Angeles because there were no more flights available to Texas.

Couch will face a magistrate once he returns to Tarrant County. "They even had something that was nearly akin to a going-away party before leaving town", Anderson said.

Before fleeing the U.S., Couch was in the news again recently after a video surfaced showing him violating his drug-and-alcohol-free probation verdict by drinking at a party. It was a short time after that video started making headlines that Sheriff Anderson said Couch and his mother made a decision.

Jalisco state officials said that the Marshals Service, through the American Consulate in the state capital, Guadalajara, asked local authorities to search for the Couches in Puerto Vallarta. In this case, authorities would be prevented from moving forward with Couch's deportation until the issue of whether deportation would violate his rights is resolved.

Images of Couch, reportedly taken after his arrest, show the teen appearing disheveled and sporting dyed black hair, mustache and goatee.

Prosecutors intend to transfer the case to adult court, but punishment options there are just as limited as an adult court could not punish Couch for things he did as a juvenile. The pair are believed to have driven the truck from the Fort Worth area deep into Mexico, but he would not say whether they still had it with them, or how they supported themselves on the run.

 

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