"Affluenza" Teen Ethan Couch Detained in Mexico

LBN’s Ryan Gaumont reports that Ethan Couch has been captured in the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarto, Mexico. Couch and his mother vanished from Texas earlier this month. The 18-year-old Couch and his mother, Tonya, were held by Mexican authorities. Extradition proceedings will be the next order of business for authorities in the U.S.

Couch came into the news spotlight when, as a 16-year-old, he killed four people in a drunk driving crash and was sentenced to ten years of probation. Couch’s lawyers made the unusual defense that Couch deserved leniency because of his privileged childhood. A psychologist was produced to testify that Couch suffered from “affluenza” and was too spoiled to know right from wrong. Prosecutors asked for the maximum sentence of twenty years in prison. Former State District Judge Jean Boyd, who heard the case, imposed the sentence of probation rather than incarceration.

The light sentence was not well received by many people, including families of the crash victims. "Nothing is going to make an impact on this guy unless there's something severe or certain," said Kevin McConnell, whose son was injured in the 2013 wreck. Part of the reason for Couch’s fleeing to Mexico may have been the appearance of a video that shows someone who appears to be Couch at a party where alcohol is being served, a violation of his probation.

When Couch is returned to the U.S., it seems likely that the probation will be revoked and that Couch will receive a ten-year prison sentence.

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