Affluenza Teen Ethan Couch Captured in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico After International Manhunt

Affluenza Teen Ethan Couch Captured in Puerto Vallarta
Affluenza Teen Ethan Couch Captured in Puerto Vallarta REUTERS/Tarrant County Sheriff's Dept /LANDOV

The manhunt ended in Mexico. Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who in 2013 pleaded guilty after killing four people in a drunk driving crash, was captured in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, on Monday, December 28, along with his mother, officials confirmed to CNN early this morning. 

Couch, 18, was dubbed the "Affluenza teen" after his lawyers claimed that his wealthy parents protected him from facing the consequences of his destructive actions and should therefore share the blame. Couch's case garnered worldwide attention after his lawyers claimed that their client suffered from "Affluenza," a social condition — not officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association — that made him lose a sense of the consequences of his actions due to being coddled by affluent parents from a young age.

In June 2013, the then-16-year-old high school student was living in suburban Fort Worth, Texas, when he was involved in a devastating car crash that killed four. Couch was speeding and driving under the influence at the time.

Couch pleaded guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault. However, since he was underage at the time, he was classified as a juvenile and sentenced to 10 years of probation. He was also required to fulfill time in rehab.

The teen's disappearance was discovered in early December after he skipped out on a meeting with his probation officer. A warrant was then issued for Ethan's arrest. It's believed that Ethan and his mom fled the country after a clip circulated of Ethan attending a party that included booze — which violates his probation terms.

If his probation agreement is revoked, Ethan could face up to 10 years behind bars.

After cooperating with the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico, authorities were able to locate Couch in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta. An international manhunt was underway with prosecutors offering a reward for any information resulting in Couch's arrest.

 

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