'Affluenza' Teen Decides to Stop Fighting Mexico

Ethan Couch will likely be back in Texas this week
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2016 9:04 AM CST
'Affluenza' Teen Decides to Stop Fighting Mexico
This Dec. 28, 2015, file photo, released by Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office, shows Ethan Couch after he was taken into custody in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.   (Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office via AP, File)

"Affluenza" teen Ethan Couch has dropped an appeal against deportation and will return to Texas to face charges in the coming days, said his Mexican lawyer Tuesday. "I gave him several options, but he decided to go to Texas to face whatever charges he faces," said attorney Fernando Benitez, adding that Couch formally ratified his decision to drop the appeal on Monday. The appeal had led to a court injunction against Mexico's original decision to deport Couch, reports the AP. Since then, he has been held at an immigration detention center on the outskirts of Mexico City. Benitez expected a judge to close the case Tuesday, noting that would clear the way for Couch to return to Texas.

"Once the injunction is removed, they will deport Ethan in 24 or 48 hours," said Benitez, who put it succinctly in an email to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "Should be sent back ASAP." He said Couch had decided not to continue with the constitutional appeal after "he reviewed the basis of the appeal in Mexico," and because "it was in his interest" to do so. Upon his return to Texas, Couch will be held in a juvenile detention center. A juvenile judge will hold a hearing to decide whether to continue to hold him there, book him into an adult jail, or let him go, said Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson. A separate hearing is scheduled for Feb. 19 to determine whether Couch's case will be transferred to the adult system. (More affluenza stories.)

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