Ethan Couch, 18, and his mother, Tonya, were arrested in Mexico
last month following a more than two-week-long manhunt. His mother
was deported to the United States last month.
Couch's return is "imminent" now that he has dropped the appeal,
said Fernando Benitez, his lawyer in Mexico.
"Basically, it was just Mr Couch's decision, he wants to go back to
his home state and face whatever legal consequences result from
whatever actions took place over the past few months," he said in
the border city of Tijuana.
"It could be a matter of one day, two days, three days," he added,
saying Mexican authorities still had to make the necessary transport
Mexico has not yet announced a date for his deportation.
Couch was sentenced to 10 years of drug-and-alcohol-free probation
for intoxication manslaughter, a punishment condemned by critics as
privilege rewarded with leniency. He now faces the prospect of U.S.
charges for violating his probation.
During the trial, a psychologist sparked outrage by saying in his
defense that Couch was so wealthy and spoiled he could not tell the
difference between right and wrong - hence, he was suffering from
Tarrant County, Texas, prosecutors say Couch is responsible for his
own absence by fleeing to Mexico.
His mother was returned to Texas and faces a third-degree felony
charge for helping her son to flee. If convicted, she could receive
a 10-year prison sentence.
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Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said he had not yet been
notified when Couch would return. U.S. marshals are in Mexico
waiting to bring him back, he added. Upon arrival, Couch will be
placed in juvenile detention, Anderson said.
If Couch is found to have violated his probation, he could be held
in adult detention for about four months.
He faces a detention hearing in Fort Worth on Feb. 19 to determine
if his case will be transferred to the adult system. Tarrant County
prosecutors are looking into whether he could face additional
Couch has been being held in a migrants' detention center in Mexico
City, and though he would have liked a more comfortable place, he
"never complained", his lawyer said.
"The last time I saw him, he felt very optimistic about returning
back home," Benitez said.
(With reporting by Anahi Rama and Lizbeth Diaz in Mexico City,
Marice Richter and Jon Herskovitz in Texas; Writing by Simon
Gardner; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Clarence Fernandez)
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