MEXICO CITY (CBSDFW.COM) - A Mexico immigration official said the mother of the North Texas teenager known for using an "affluenza" defense in a fatal drunken-driving accident was deported.
A pet dog helped the pair avoid deportation at first. The Couches claimed itwas wrongfully taken from them and therefore their arrest, they claimed, was unlawful.
That worked for a while, but obviously not anymore.
Tonya Couch left on a flight from Guadalajara, Mexico, to Los Angeles late Wednesday afternoon. Officials said she was sent home because immigration authorities did not receive a judge's injunction like the one that temporarily blocked the deportation of her son.
Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said he's waiting for her return.
"When she arrives, the warrant we have for her for hindering the apprehension of Ethan will be served upon her and that's a felony here in Texas. And we will have to extradite her back to Texas and she will have to face those charges here."
Ethan, in the meantime, will be moved to Mexico City in the next few days and face deportation as a fugitive. That process could take up to two weeks. Authorities believe the 18-year-old Couch, who was sentenced only to probation for the 2013 wreck, fled to Mexico with his mother in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation.
Both were taken into custody Monday after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta.
Anderson said it's unlikely Couch will do much jail time when he returns to Texas.
"The maximum jail time he is going to do is probably gonna be 120 days. That sits badly with a lot of people. People don't think that's justice for killing four innocent people, the way they didn't feel like probation was justice for killing four innocent people."
He said his mother Tonya, however, faces up to 10 years in prison.
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