MEXICO CITY — Ethan Couch, known as the “affluenza” teen after he killed four people in a drunken driving incident in 2013, was deported from Mexico on Thursday, leaving the country aboard a commercial flight headed for Dallas, Mexico’s migration department said.
Couch, 18, and his mother, Tonya, were arrested in Mexico last month following a more than two-week manhunt. His mother was deported to the United States last month, and Couch dropped a legal appeal against his extradition.
Couch departed Mexico City at 8:50 a.m. local time aboard Aeromexico flight 2682 heading for Dallas, the migration department said. The flight is due to land in Dallas at 11:12 a.m., according to FlightStats.com.
In a video sent by migration authorities, Couch, who is wearing a camouflage hooded top and jeans, can be seen signing papers before being accompanied by Mexican officials onto the plane.
Once Couch arrives in Texas, he will be placed in a juvenile detention center, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said. He faces a Feb. 19 hearing in Fort Worth, where a judge will decide whether his case will be moved to adult court.
If he is found to have violated the terms of his probation, legal authorities said Couch faces about four months behind bars. His mother, Tonya Couch, faces up to 10 years in prison for helping her son flee to Mexico. She already has returned to Texas and has been freed on bond.
Couch was sentenced to 10 years of drug-and-alcohol-free probation for intoxication manslaughter, a punishment condemned by critics as privilege rewarded with leniency.
During the trial, a psychologist sparked outrage by saying in his defense that Couch was so wealthy and spoiled that he could not tell the difference between right and wrong — hence, he was suffering from affluenza.
Tarrant County prosecutors say Couch is responsible for his own absence by fleeing to Mexico.