The so-called “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch returned to his home state of Texas Thursday after being detained in Mexico while working with his legal team to block deportation orders. The 18-year-old fled the country after he allegedly violated his decade-long probation related to the fatal drunk-driving incident in 2013 that left four people dead.
The Texas teenager whose lawyers infamously invoked an “affluenza” defense while on trial for a fatal drunken-driving crash is back in the U.S.
Ethan Couch flew back Thursday from Mexico on a commercial flight and was taken into American custody at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport around noon. He was taken to a juvenile detention facility and faces a Friday hearing before a Tarrant County judge to determine whether his case should be transferred to adult court.
Couch, who had been on the lam in Mexico with his mother Tonya when he was caught last month, officially dropped his appeal against deportation on Wednesday.
Late last year, Couch and his mother, Tonya, fled to Mexico after video footage of the teen engaging in a beer pong-styled drinking game emerged. The actions in the video were an apparent violation of his probation, thus prompting the attempted grand escape.
Couch’s affluenza defense continues to come under heavy scrutiny, considering that medical and legal experts do not recognize it as an official medical condition. Couch’s defense stated that the teen’s life of privilege and wealth made it difficult for him to understand the gravity of his actions.