Lawyer: Maybe 'Affluenza' Kid Was Forced to Flee US

He says Ethan Couch has dropped deportation fight
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2016 3:02 AM CST
Lawyer: Maybe 'Affluenza' Kid Was Forced to Flee US
Tonya Couch, center, the mother of a Texas teen who used an "affluenza" defense in a drunken wreck, leaves Tarrant County Jail on Jan. 12, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas.   (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Is Ethan Couch throwing his mom under the bus? A lawyer for the "affluenza" teen has suggested that he may have traveled to Mexico against his will, meaning his mother, Tonya Couch, could have kidnapped him, reports CBS News. After a hearing in the case in Texas on Tuesday, attorney Scott Brown said the question of whether the 18-year-old "was voluntarily or involuntarily taken to Mexico is something that is still being investigated." Couch, who was on probation in Texas for killing four people while driving drunk, was found with his mother in Mexico last month, and she has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon.

Tonya Couch was quickly deported to the US, where she was released on bail last week. Ethan is still in a Mexico City detention facility, and he could be there for a while: Brown says the teen's Mexican lawyers will stop fighting his deportation to the US, reports Reuters, though a Mexican immigration official says the challenge has yet to be withdrawn and it will be at least another month before Couch can be deported. In Tuesday's hearing, prosecutors had planned to argue that Couch's case should be moved to adult court, but it was postponed because Couch was absent and his parents hadn't been notified, reports the Dallas Morning News. (MADD has started a petition to move the case to adult court.)

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