Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Deportation delayed as Couch wins amparo

The “affluenza” teenager who fled to Mexico with his mother has been granted a three-day amparo, or injunction, against his deportation.

Ethan Couch, 18, who is being sought in Texas for breaching probation, was arrested on Monday along with his mother, Tonya Couch, in Puerto Vallarta, after they used his cell phone to order a pizza.

U.S. officials were monitoring the cell phone and passed the information along to Mexican authorities, who made the arrest Monday evening.

Tonya Couch was deported this morning and later charged in Los Angeles with hindering the apprehension of a fugitive, a charge that could net a jail term of two to 10 years. Bond was set at US $1 million.

Her son is being held in a migrants’ detention facility in Mexico City while a judge decides whether Couch has grounds to challenge his deportation, based on arguments that it would violate his rights.

Richard Hunter, of the U.S. Marshals Service in Texas, said at a news conference that the decision will likely take weeks rather than days, depending on the court’s priorities.

He said the injunction ruling takes the deportation decision out of the hands of an immigration agent and turns it over to a higher authority.

Couch killed four people and injured several others when driving while drunk near Forth Worth in 2013. He was sentenced to 10 years’ probation and time in a rehabilitation center after a defense witness testified that he had been coddled by his wealthy parents into a sense of irresponsibility, a condition he called “affluenza.”

When Couch and his mother arrived in Puerto Vallarta, believed to have been in late November, they checked into the Los Tules resort hotel on the beach, but recently moved into a shabby apartment building downtown.

Source: Fox News (en), WFAA-TV (en)

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