US 'affluenza' teen arrested in Mexico
December 29 2015 10:22 AM
"Affluenza" teen Ethan Couch
"Affluenza" teen Ethan Couch

AFP/ Washington

Authorities in Mexico have detained a wealthy Texas teenager sought in the United States after he apparently violated the terms of his probation for killing four people in a drink-driving accident, a newspaper said late Monday.

Ethan Couch, 18, once described as suffering from 'affluenza’, and his mother Tonya were arrested in the Pacific resort city of Puerto Vallarta, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

It quoted Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney's office.

Ethan Couch crashed his pickup into a group of pedestrians and another vehicle in 2013, leaving four dead and several seriously injured. He had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit.

Couch, the son of millionaire parents, made headlines during his trial when a psychologist testifying on his behalf claimed he suffered from ‘affluenza’.

The term, coined from affluence and influenza, implied that financial privilege made him unable to understand the consequences of his actions.

The hunt began a few weeks ago after Couch missed a mandatory meeting with his probation officer.

The FBI and US Marshals Service joined the search after authorities put Couch on the country's most wanted list.

Prosecutors had sought 20 years in prison for Couch, but judges handed him a surprise sentence of mental-health treatment and a decade of probation.

The leniency shocked many Americans, especially because the teen expressed no remorse and did not spend a single night behind bars.

The controversy was reignited this month after the emergence of a video showing Couch at a party taking part in a drinking game, which violated the terms of his probation.

Police showed up at his home to find it empty with no forwarding address.

The teenager's flight, apparently with his mother, prompted outrage across the country.



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