The Mexican lawyer for Texas teenager Ethan Couch, the infamous “Affluenza Teen” responsible for a fatal 2013 accident that took the lives of four people, has announced that his client has officially dropped his deportation appeal and will soon return to the state of Texas to answer to charges.
The attorney, Fernando Benitez, stated that Couch had formally ratified his decision to drop his appeal, and even though Benitez had presented Couch with several different options, Couch had instead decided to return to Texas to answer to whatever charges he may face.
Couch’s appeal had initially led to an injunction against an original decision to deport him back to Texas. Couch has since been held at a detention facility in Mexico City. Benitez has further stated that he expects a judge to officially close the case on Tuesday, meaning that Couch could return to Texas one to two days after that.
Furthermore, Benitez stated that Couch had decided not to continue on with the appeal after reviewing the overall basis of it and because it was in his best interest to do so.
Both Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, were captured and detained in December 2015, in Puerto Vallarta after fleeing from Texas while prosecutors were investigating whether or not Couch had violated the conditions of his probation. Mrs. Couch was quickly deported back to Tarrant County, Texas, but has since been released from jail on bail. She is currently charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon and faces up to ten years in prison if convicted of the charge.
Upon Couch’s return to Texas, he will be transferred to a juvenile detention facility. Afterward, a juvenile judge will conduct a hearing, which will determine whether or not Couch will continue to be held in that facility, whether he will be transferred to an adult jail, or whether he will be released.
Additionally, a separate court hearing will take place on February 19th, which will determine whether or not Couch’s case will be officially transferred to the adult court system. If it is and if Couch again violates the conditions of his probation, he could face serious prison time.