The mother of a fugitive Texas teen known for using an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving accident will likely remain jailed for several days in Los Angeles after being deported from Mexico, investigators said Thursday.
A judge agreed on Thursday to hear the case of Ethan Cohen, 18, who was detained on Monday with his mother in a Pacific resort city, a National Migration Institute official told AFP.
The 48-year-old drove with her 18-year-old son to Mexico after a video surfaced showing the teenager at a party where alcohol was consumed by minors and games of beer pong were played by underage participants.
There was no specific reason Couch was flown to Los Angeles instead of Texas, other than authorities choose the most “rapid, secure and efficient means to return” fugitives to the United States, said Richard Taylor, acting U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Texas. On Wednesday, his lawyers filed a petition to temporarily block his deportation from Mexico.
Hunter says Couch’s mother, Tonya, also won’t be deported Wednesday as originally planned.
Couch is due in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday, Kim said.
U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Eugene Hwang said he could not reveal details about Couch’s trip through California or say how long she might be there, citing security concerns in transporting someone in custody.
Ethan Couch’s case would now be subject to immigration proceedings because he entered the country illegally, but he would ultimately not be able to stay in the country, said the Mexican official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “And it seems to me, if they wanted to, they could pay them as much money as they want to drag this thing out”, Hunter said.
If the judge considering the appeal decides there was a mistake made in the process of detaining Couch, he could be released, and authorities would have to re-arrest him, Lopez said.
Couch pleaded guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury.
Since Tonya Couch is back in the us and in the custody of American law enforcement, it is very likely that she will be back in Texas sooner than her son.
Authorities began searching for the pair after Ethan Couch missed a mandatory December 10 appointment with his probation officer.
She will be charged with hindering the apprehension of a juvenile, a charge that can yield a jail sentence between two and 10 years. She is accused of aiding her son to flee to Puerto Vallarta, said Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson on Thursday.
A call to Tonya Couch’s attorney was not immediately returned Thursday.
On Aug. 10, Tonya Couch sold her 3,964-square-foot house at 1719 Burleson Retta Road in Burleson, deed records show.
Ethan Couch picked up the gun the next day, but did not explain why he had the weapon, according to the hotel workers.
But it isn’t just the Marshal service that wants to get their hands on Ethan Couch – it’s everyone in Tarrant County, and especially those injured in the crash and the families of those killed. Bristling at the young man’s light sentence for an offense that left four dead, prosecutors have been trying to move Couch’s case to the adult criminal justice system, where probation violations invite tougher consequences, when he turns 19 in April.
A judge sentenced him in juvenile court to 10 years’ probation and a stint in a rehabilitation center.
Couch and his mother Tonya were caught Monday in Puerto Vallarta.
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