Ethan Couch, the “affluenza teen”, and his mother Tonya Couch have been arrested in Mexico after Mexican authorities traced a call from which they were ordering pizza, as reported by The Guardian.
The Couches were residing in the beach resort city of Puerto Vallarta after they held a farewell party, according to a Texas sheriff. Ethan has been a fugitive on the run ever since he violated his probation in December. Ethan and his mother have been searched by authorities of two countries across 1,200 miles, according to the New York Times.
Ethan had admitted to killing four people in a drunken driving incident in 2013. His lawyers said that he had “affluenza”, and because he was brought up in a wealthy family, he could not understand the difference between right and wrong.
Instead of the usual 20 years in prison, Ethan was sentenced to rehab and 10 years’ probation. “Affluenza” is not recognized as mental condition by the American Psychiatric Association and its invocation upon this case drew widespread ridicule.
“We didn’t think justice was served,” Sheriff Anderson was quoted by The Guardian, talking about the juvenile court hearing.
Ethan, labelled as the “affluenza teen”, was facing a prospect of a court hearing that might have sent him to jail, so he and his mom took their black Ford pickup truck and disappeared.
Early this month, a Twitter user posted a video that showed Ethan drinking with friends. Ethan was barely out of probation, which led to his probation officer to check on him and his mom to figure out that they had disappeared. An arrest warrant was issued immediately and the search for both had hence begun.
Ethan and his mother changed their appearance and pictures taken by the Jalisco State prosecutor’s office show that Ethan’s blonde hair, red beard and moustache had been dyed black and Tonya had cut her long hair short.
“I’d like for him to be accountable. I, along with the DA, will be hopeful that the case be transferred into the adult court,” Sheriff Anderson said.