'Affluenza' teen to drop fight against
Mexico deportation: source
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[January 21, 2016]
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Lawyers for
a Texas teen who killed four people in a so-called "affluenza"
drunk-driving case have told Mexican authorities they want to drop their
fight against his deportation to the United States, a Mexican official
said on Wednesday.
Ethan Couch's legal team presented a document to a court in
western Jalisco state seeking to end the effort, although the
18-year-old must still sign the paperwork and have it ratified by
judicial authorities, the official said.
That would pave the way for the teen to return to the United States
to face charges he violated his probation in the 2013 drunk-driving
He faces a hearing in February to see if his case will be
transferred from juvenile court to adult court.
Couch's lawyers in the United States said their client has filed
paperwork that could see him soon return to Texas from Mexico.
"It is our understanding that paperwork has been filed by Ethanís
counsel in Mexico that will terminate the ongoing Mexican
immigration proceedings," his lawyers, Scott Brown and William
Reagan Wynn, said in a statement.
"We believe that this will result in Ethan's return to the United
States within the next few weeks," they said.
Couch and his mother, Tonya, were arrested in Mexico last month
following a more than two-week manhunt. His mother was deported to
the United States last month.
The teen is being held in a detention center for migrants in Mexico
City, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Documents in the case must be sent to Couch physically and cannot be
relayed to him electronically, the official added.
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The legal procedure to end the appeal could take some time to
complete, after which there should be nothing preventing his removal
back to the United States, the official said.
A top migration official in Jalisco said on Tuesday that once Couch
dropped his deportation fight, it could still take another month
before he is repatriated to the United States.
A psychiatrist testifying on behalf of Couch, then 16, at his 2013
trial in juvenile court contended his family's wealth had left him
so spoiled that it impaired his judgment to tell right from wrong.
The "affluenza" diagnosis, which is not recognized by the American
Psychiatric Association, was widely ridiculed.
(Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Cynthia
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