Lawyers for Ethan Couch, notoriously known as the “affluenza teen," reportedly told Mexican authorities that they want to drop their fight against Couch’s deportation to the United States, a Mexican official said, Reuters reported Wednesday. Couch’s lawyer in Texas claimed documents have been filed to lift the objections and his legal team reportedly presented a document to a court in Jalisco seeking to end the deportation effort.
Couch, 18, is still required to sign the paperwork and have it ratified by judicial authorities, according to a Mexican official.
“It is our understanding that paperwork has been filed by Ethan’s counsel in Mexico that will terminate the ongoing Mexican immigration proceedings," his lawyers, Scott Brown and William Reagan Wynn, said in a statement. "We believe that this will result in Ethan's return to the United States within the next few weeks.”
However, a top migration official in Jalisco reportedly said that once Couch dropped his deportation fight, it could take up to a month before he’s repatriated to the U.S.
Authorities have alleged that Couch and his mother Tonya fled to Mexico in December after prosecutors in Texas looked into whether Couch had violated a probation resulting from a drunken-driving accident that killed four people, according to CBS News. After two-week manhunt, the man and his mother were arrested in Mexico. Tonya was deported to the U.S. last month, while Couch is reportedly being held in a detention center for migrants in Mexico City.
During Couch’s trial in 2013 in juvenile court, a psychiatrist testified on the teenager’s behalf, claiming that his family’s wealth had left him so spoiled that it impaired his judgment to tell right from wrong. While the “affluenza” diagnosis has not been recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, a juvenile court judge gave Couch 10 years’ probation, igniting a backlash.
Couch faces a hearing scheduled for February to see whether his case will be transferred from juvenile court to adult court.