'affluenza' teen taken into custody in Mexico, official says
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[December 29, 2015]
By Marice Richter
FORT WORTH, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas teen
from a wealthy family, a fugitive after breaking his probation sentence
for killing four people while driving drunk, has been taken into custody
in Mexico, a law enforcement official said on Monday.
Ethan Couch, 18, nicknamed the "affluenza" teen, was serving 10
years probation for intoxication manslaughter in the 2013 incident.
He and his mother, Tonya Couch, 48, disappeared this month,
prompting officials in Tarrant County, Texas, to place the teen on
the county's most wanted list and issue a warrant for his
Couch became known as the "affluenza" teen during his trial in
juvenile court, when a psychologist said he was so wealthy and
spoiled he could not tell the difference between right and wrong.
A Tarrant County law enforcement official confirmed on Monday that
Couch had been detained in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but declined to
give further details.
CNN, citing officials briefed on the matter, said Couch was with his
mother and would be turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Mexico's attorney general's office did not respond immediately to
calls seeking information.
At age 16, Couch was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level of
nearly three times the legal limit when he lost control of his
pickup truck and fatally struck a stranded motorist on the side of
the road and three Good Samaritans who had stopped to help.
Several passengers riding in Couch's vehicle were hurt, including
one friend who was permanently brain damaged.
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Sheriff Dee Anderson said last week it was possible Couch and his
mother had fled the country and the home they shared had been
cleared of its contents. Their passports had been reported missing
by the teen's father, who has been cooperating with investigators.
Police were checking reports that Couch may have left the United
States, after a video came out showing him at a party, in a likely
violation of his probation.
U.S. Marshals were offering a $5,000 reward in exchange for his
(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz in Chicago and Victoria Cavaliere in Los
Angeles and David Alire Garcia in Mexico City; Editing by Nick
Macfie, Robert Birsel)
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