Ethan Couch, 18, the Texas teen who killed four people at the age of 16 in a drunk-driving auto accident and “got off” with probation due to a defense that became known as ‘affluenza’ — was caught in Mexico, along with his mother Tonya, after she helped him flee his punishment in the United States.
The international manhunt for the pair ended when they were apprehended on Monday in a section of Puerto Vallarta known as “5 of December.”
Ethan had dyed his hair black, and sported facial hair.
Prosecutors had hoped that Couch, who ended up doing a short stint in rehab, would serve 20 years in jail. But the ‘affluenza defense’ that excused his actions as an inability to know right from wrong because of a spoiled and privileged upbringing that did not hold him accountable for bad behavior, net him only 10 years probation in addition to rehab.
Even that was apparently too much for his mother.
A few weeks ago Tonya Couch, who is now facing charges of hindering arrest, vanished from Texas with her son.
When an employee at a bungalow the teen and his mother first stayed at in Mexico pretended to aide the two, and suggest a “more discreet” location for them, which they accepted, the authorities were alerted.
Investigators discovered the Couch’s had overstayed their tourist visas, according to Jalisco state prosecutor Jesus Almaguer Ramirez, who gave a press conference on Tuesday, and it was then that the mother and son were arrested without incident.
‘Affluenza’ became a new word in the English language when this case hit the news. I had never heard it, how about you?
Investigators even learned that the mother and son had planned to run; and went so far as to have something of a “going away party” days before they vanished – this according to Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson. But no information on who attended this party or whether they would face charges was offered.
Couch’s probation is being handled by juvenile court; which can only place him in detention until he turns 19. At which time he will have to be released. And although the remainder of his probation would roll over to adult court, Ethan Couch would be a free man.
Read more on this at MSN.