According to the Associated Press, an official with Mexico’s Migration Institute said Ethan Couch was granted a three-day court injunction. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he or she wasn’t authorized to be quoted by name.
The ruling earlier Wednesday by the Mexican court could lead to a weeks-long legal process if a judge decides Couch has grounds to challenge his deportation based on arguments that kicking him out of the country would violate his rights.
A federal judge has three days to rule on whether Couch’s appeal is well-founded. He and his mother Tanya Couch were expected to fly back to Houston Wednesday; it is unclear whether Tanya Couch was also granted a stay.
Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, were arrested in Mexico on Monday after ordering a Domino’s Pizza delivery to a condominium in Puerto Vallarta. His father, Fred Couch, owns a sheet metal factory called Cleburne Sheet Metal LLC, which earns an estimated $15 million a year, according to the Daily Mail. A U.S. Marshals Service agent tipped authorities in Mexico about the location of the phone on Monday. “He had depression. He found alcohol was his medicine”, psychologist G. Dick Miller, who testified at Couch’s initial trial, told USA Today when Couch was sentenced. Instead of jail time, Couch was tried as a juvenile and sentenced to the 10 year probation sentence that included time in a rehabilitation center as part of his “affluenza” defense.
The supposed “affluenza” diagnosis used in his defense is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, and the use of the term was widely ridiculed at the time.
Ethan Couch, his hair darkened, also was said to have regularly visited a corner store across the street from the apartment.
This means bringing the Couches back to Texas may be delayed by a day or two – or even up to two weeks.
Such appeals are unique in Mexico because they are precautionary.
They were taken into custody and handed over to immigration officials. “We’re [Tarrant County Sheriff’s] patient, we’ll be here when it’s all said and done and we’ll get him here”.
“They had planned to disappear”. Anderson has previously said that Couch did not receive an adequate punishment for his 2013 crime. He would not give details about the event, including how many people attended.
Anderson said he supports the district attorney’s request to transfer Couch’s sentence from the juvenile system to the adult court system. No immediate charges were planned for others who may have known about or assisted with the plan, Anderson said.
Once returned to Texas, Couch will be held in a North Texas facility until a probation violation hearing January 19.
Ethan and Tonya Couch had a party in late November, fled across the Mexican border in her pickup truck and drove to Puerto Vallarta, Anderson said.
Couch, 18, was on probation for killing four people in a drunk driving accident in 2013. The teen, whose privileged upbringing was cited in his defense, missed a December 10 probation meeting, according to the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, and couldn’t be located by an officer. If he violates that probation, he could face up to 10 years in prison per death, Wilson said.
His mother, Tonya Couch. will be charged with hindering the apprehension of a juvenile, and if convicted, faces between two and 10 years in jail, Wilson said.