U.S. national Ethan Couch is pictured in this undated handout photograph made available to Reuters on Dec. 29, 2015 by the Jalisco state prosecutor office. 
Photo by Fiscalia General del Estado de Jalisco/Handout/Reuters

‘Affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch drops appeal, returning to U.S.


Ethan Couch, the Texas teen who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunk driving accident, has officially dropped his appeal against deportation, his Mexican attorney said.

“I believe (Ethan) is relieved to be coming back,” Fernando Benitez told NBC News. “I think he has come to terms with this.”

Couch, 18, fled the country while serving 10 years of probation for a drunken driving crash that killed four people in 2013. He and his mother were captured in Mexico last month. His mother, Tonya, was deported to the U.S., but Couch remained detained in Mexico City. Tonya Couch was released after posting bail.

Reporter’s Notebook, 1/4/16, 10:52 AM ET

Breaking down the legal intricacies of the “affluenza teen” story

The famed “affluenza” teen, Ethan Couch, has retained a lawyer and is fighting extradition to the United States after he and his mother were captured in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico last week. Couch is the Texas teenager convicted of killing four people…

Couch’s extradition could happen as early as Wednesday.

RELATED: ‘Affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch’s mother Tonya arraigned in Texas  

“He decided that he would much rather face American justice than drag it out here in Mexico,” Benitez said.

During Couch’s trial for the fatal car accident, a defense witness said his wealthy parents coddled him so much, it gave him no sense of responsibility — a condition the expert referred to as “affluenza.” That condition isn’t recognized as a diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association. 

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com.


Ethan Couch

'Affluenza' teen Ethan Couch drops appeal, returning to U.S.