FORT WORTH, Texas -- (KXAN/AP) -- The Texas teenager who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck arrived at a Texas airport following his deportation from Mexico on Thursday, more than a month after he and his mother fled the U.S. as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation.
Ethan Couch, 18, arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport late Thursday morning and could be seen walking through the airport escorted by law enforcement. Couch was apprehended with his mother in the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta on Dec. 28, after a call for delivery pizza tipped off authorities to their whereabouts.
Authorities believe Couch and his mother fled Texas in her pickup truck after an online video appeared to show Ethan Couch at a party where people were drinking. Couch had been sentenced to 10 years’ probation in juvenile court for the 2013 drunken-driving wreck, and the terms prohibit him from drinking or leaving Tarrant County, Texas.
During the trial in that case, a defense witness argued that Couch had been coddled into a sense of irresponsibility by his wealthy parents, a condition the expert called “affluenza.” The condition is not recognized as a medical diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, and its use drew widespread derision.