US & Canada

Ethan Couch: US 'affluenza' runaway teen delays Mexico extradition

Mugshot of Couch Image copyright Police handout
Image caption Police released a mugshot of Couch, with his dyed hair

A fugitive who made headlines for using an "affluenza" defence after a fatal drink-driving crash has delayed his extradition from Mexico to the US.

A judge will now consider the deportation of Ethan Couch, 18. However, his mother has been returned to the US, Mexican officials said.

It follows their arrest in the country.

Couch left Texas for Mexico after he allegedly broke probation. His lawyer had argued a privileged upbringing left him with no sense of responsibility.

'Hindering an apprehension'

An arrest warrant was issued earlier this month for Couch after he failed to report to his probation officer.

His disappearance came shortly after he had apparently been filmed at a party where people were consuming alcohol, police said.

He could go to prison for up to 10 years if found to have violated his probation by drinking.

His mother Tonya Couch faces charges of hindering an apprehension.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Tonya Couch is accused of assisting his escape

She and her son planned their disappearance and even held a going-away party, said police.

The pair travelled to the resort city of Puerto Vallarta, but were caught after a phone call for a takeaway pizza tipped off police.

Tonya Couch arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday where federal marshals took her into custody.

Mexican immigration authorities did not receive an injunction of the type that delayed her son's deportation, an immigration official said.

Meanwhile, the Mexican authorities are reported to have moved Couch to a detention facility in the capital Mexico City.

Couch was on juvenile probation after killing four people in a drink-driving crash in 2013.

He pleaded guilty and a judge sentenced him in juvenile court to 10 years' probation and a stint in rehab.

A psychologist at his trial successfully argued that his privileged upbringing - an unrecognised condition known as "affluenza" - meant his parents had not taught him a sense of responsibility.

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