Mother of Texas 'affluenza' teen sent back to US, son held in Mexico

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'Affluenza' Teen Can Face 10 Years in Jail for After Being Found in Mexico

AUSTIN, Texas/MEXICO CITY, Dec 31 (Reuters) - The mother of a Texas teenager, derided over a claim of "affluenza" as a defense for his deadly drunken-driving crash, arrived in the United States on Thursday after deportation from Mexico while her son won a delay in his extradition, officials said.

Ethan Couch, 18, and his mother, Tonya Couch, 48, were captured in the Mexican Pacific Coast city of Puerto Vallarta on Monday. They fled there after officials in Tarrant County, Texas, began an investigation into whether Ethan violated the probation deal that kept him out of prison after he killed four people with his pickup truck in 2013.

Tonya Couch, who was wanted on a charge of hindering apprehension, was flown out of Mexico and landed in Los Angeles early Thursday en route to Texas. She could be seen in video coverage being led through the airport in handcuffs.

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Bond has been set at $1 million for the mother, who may not arrive in Tarrant County until Friday, local TV broadcaster WFAA cited county prosecutors as saying. Local officials have not released a time for her expected arrival.

If convicted of the hindering charge, Tonya Couch could face two to 10 years in prison, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said.

It was unclear when Ethan Couch would be returned to the United States. He has been transferred from Puerto Vallarta to a detention facility in Mexico City, Mexican immigration officials said.

The Couches had filed an injunction to delay their extradition and a judge in Mexico would have up to 72 hours to consider the injunction, they said.

See photos of Tonya Couch arriving in Los Angeles:

20 PHOTOS
Affluenza teen's mom Tonya Couch after being deported from Mexico
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Mother of Texas 'affluenza' teen sent back to US, son held in Mexico
Tonya Couch, center, the mother of a Texas teen who used an "affluenza" defense in a drunken wreck, leaves Tarrant County Jail, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. She is to be fitted with a GPS monitor before release. A judge decreased Couch's bond Monday from $1 million to $75,000. Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon after she and her son, Ethan Couch, were caught in a Mexican resort city. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Tonya Couch, center, the mother of a Texas teen who used an "affluenza" defense in a drunken wreck, leaves Tarrant County Jail, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. She is to be fitted with a GPS monitor before release. A judge decreased Couch's bond Monday from $1 million to $75,000. Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon after she and her son, Ethan Couch, were caught in a Mexican resort city. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Tonya Couch, center, the mother of a Texas teen who used an "affluenza" defense in a drunken wreck, leaves Tarrant County Jail, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. She is to be fitted with a GPS monitor before release. A judge decreased Couch's bond Monday from $1 million to $75,000. Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon after she and her son, Ethan Couch, were caught in a Mexican resort city. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Tonya Couch is seen at her bond reduction hearing on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, at Criminal District Court No. 2 in Fort Worth, Texas. (David Kent/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Tonya Couch appears in court in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The mother of Ethan Couch, who used an "affluenza" defense after killing people in a drunken-driving wreck, appeared in court on a charge of hindering the apprehension of a felon. (Rodger Mallison/Star-Telegram via AP, Pool)
Tonya Couch, mother of Ethan Couch, appears before state District Judge Wayne Salvant on Jan. 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Returneing to Texas from Los Angeles, Tonya Couch, mother of 'affluenza' Ethan Couch, arrives escorted by sheriff's deputies at the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Tonya Couch, right, is escorted into Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. Couch, mother of a fugitive teenager known for using an "affluenza" defense in a deadly drunken-driving case, waived extradition and was sent to Texas from California to face a charge of helping her son evade capture. (Paul Moseley/Star-Telegram via AP, Pool)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 5: Tonya Couch, 38, (L) mother of ``affluenza' teen Ethan Couch, appears in Los Angeles Superior court for an extradition hearing January 5, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. Couch faces a felony charge in Texas for allegedly helping her 18-year-old son flee the country while out on probation. (Photo by Genaro Molina/Pool/Getty Images)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is put into a car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch sits in a vehicle after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
This undated photo provided by the Jalisco state prosecutor's office shows Tonya Couch. Authorities said Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who's serving probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck after invoking an "affluenza" defense, was in custody in Mexico, weeks after he and his mother, Tonya Couch, disappeared. Tonyaand Ethan Couch were located and detained Monday, Dec. 28, in Puerto Vallarta. (Courtesy of Jalisco state prosecutor's office)
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"ANY ROADBLOCK"

Anderson said he was not surprised by the pair seeking the delay.

"They have done everything that they can so far to avoid being accountable, or avoid being brought to justice," he said. "Any roadblock they can put in the way, any hurdle, I fully expect that."

Anderson said when Ethan Couch arrives in the United States, he would appear at a detention hearing in the juvenile system. The judge could keep him in a juvenile detention facility or send him to an adult jail, he said.

During Ethan Couch's trial in juvenile court over the crash in 2013, a psychologist testified on his behalf that he was afflicted with "affluenza," and was so spoiled by his wealth that he could not tell the difference between right and wrong.

The diagnosis is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and was widely ridiculed.

Couch was convicted on four counts of intoxication manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years of drink- and drug-free probation, which critics saw as leniency because of his family's wealth. His flight to Mexico rekindled anger over that sentence.

See more photos from the case:

14 PHOTOS
'Affluenza' teen given probation Ethan Couch
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Mother of Texas 'affluenza' teen sent back to US, son held in Mexico
This Dec. 28, 2015 photo released by Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutorís office shows who authorities identify as Ethan Couch, after he was taken into custody in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. U.S. authorities said the Texas teenager serving probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck after invoking an "affluenza" defense, was in custody in Mexico, weeks after he and his mother disappeared. (Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutorís office via AP)
This undated photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, shows Ethan Couch. The U.S. Marshals Service have joined the search for Couch, a teenager who was serving probation for killing four people in a 2013 drunken-driving wreck after invoking the "affluenza" defense, an argument that his wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility. (U.S. Marshals Service via AP)
This frame grab taken from a Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 video provided by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Migracion, INM, shows Ethan Couch, escorted onto a plane by Mexican immigration agents, in Mexico City. INM says it has taken the Texas teenager who used an "affluenza" defense in a fatal drunken-driving accident to the Mexico City airport, to fly him back to Texas to face charges. Couch was placed on a commercial flight to Dallas, Texas. (Instituto Nacional de Migración, INM via AP)
This frame grab taken from a Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016 video provided by Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Migracion, INM, shows Ethan Couch, as he is escorted by Mexican immigration agents, upon their arrival to the international airport in Mexico City. INM says it has taken the Texas teenager who used an "affluenza" defense in a fatal drunken-driving accident to the Mexico City airport, to fly him back to Texas to face charges. The institute said Thursday that Couch would be placed on a commercial flight to Dallas, Texas. (Instituto Nacional de Migración, INM via AP)
This undated wanted poster photo provided by the U.S. Marshals Service, shows Ethan Couch. The U.S. Marshals Service have joined the search for Couch, a teenager who was serving probation for killing four people in a 2013 drunken-driving wreck after invoking a defense that he suffered from "affluenza." (U.S. Marshals Service via AP)
Lucas McConnell, 13, right wipes tears from his eyes after speaking to reporters with his attorney Todd Clement, left, by his side Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Burleson, Texas. The family of Lucas McConnell, injured by a drunken teen driver whose attorneys later claimed he suffered from "affluenza," plans to continue its lawsuit against the driver. While most families who sued Ethan Couch over a wreck that left four dead have settled, the McConnell's will continue fighting Couch in court. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Attorney Todd Clement, second from left, speaks during new conference with his client Lucas McConnell, 13, center right, Alesia McConnell, left, and Kevin McConnell look on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, in Burleson, Texas. The family of Lucas McConnell, injured by a drunken teen driver whose attorneys later claimed he suffered from "affluenza," plans to continue its lawsuit against the driver. While most families who sued Ethan Couch over a wreck that left four dead have settled, the McConnell's will continue fighting Couch in court. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
FILE - In this December 2013 image taken from a video by KDFW-FOX 4, Ethan Couch is seen during his court hearing in Fort Worth, Texas. The family of Couch, who killed four people in a drunken wreck, have reached a settlement of more than $2 million with the family of a teenage boy left disabled. Tarrant County court documents filed Friday show that the liability insurer of Ethan Couchâs parents agreed to pay $1.64 million in cash to a trust established for Sergio E. Molina. (AP Photo/KDFW-FOX 4, File)
Ethan Couch, center, sits in juvenile court for a hearing about his future Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Judge Jean Boyd again decided to give no jail time for Couch, who was sentenced to 10 years' probation in a drunken-driving crash that killed four people, and ordered him to go to a rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents. The sentence stirred fierce debate, as has the testimony of a defense expert who says Couch's wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility. The expert termed the condition "affluenza." (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Ethan Couch, center, sits in juvenile court for a hearing about his future Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Judge Jean Boyd again decided to give no jail time for Couch, who was sentenced to 10 years' probation in a drunken-driving crash that killed four people, and ordered him to go to a rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents. The sentence stirred fierce debate, as has the testimony of a defense expert who says Couch's wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility. The expert termed the condition "affluenza." (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Tonya Couch, left, and Fred Couch, parents of teenager Ethan Couch, arrive at juvenile court for a hearing about their son's future Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Judge Jean Boyd again decided to give no jail time for Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to 10 years' probation in a drunken-driving crash that killed four people, and ordered him to go to a rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents. The sentence stirred fierce debate, as has the testimony of a defense expert who says Couch's wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility. The expert termed the condition "affluenza." (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Tonya Couch, left, and Fred Couch, parents of teenager Ethan Couch, arrive at juvenile court for a hearing about their son's future Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. Judge Jean Boyd again decided to give no jail time for Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to 10 years' probation in a drunken-driving crash that killed four people, and ordered him to go to a rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents. The sentence stirred fierce debate, as has the testimony of a defense expert who says Couch's wealthy parents coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility. The expert termed the condition "affluenza." (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Fred Couch, father of teenager Ethan Couch, collects his belt after clearing security as he arrives at juvenile court for a hearing about his son's future Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. A judge on Wednesday ordered Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to 10 years' probation in a drunken-driving crash that killed four people, to go to a rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents. Judge Jean Boyd again decided to give no jail time for Ethan Couch, defense attorney Reagan Wynn and prosecutors told reporters after the hearing, which was closed to the public. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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Couch and his mother fled the United States earlier this month after a video surfaced online apparently showing Ethan Couch at a party where beer was being consumed.

In the car crash, Couch, then 16, was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he lost control of his pickup truck and struck a stranded motorist and three people who had stopped to help.

During their last days in Puerto Vallarta, Couch and his mother lived in a modest apartment, kept a low profile and at least once used a false name as they tried to stay under the radar, local people and neighbors said.


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