Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya, were caught Monday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where the two were on the lam after video emerged showing him playing beer pong in violation of the terms of his probation. Authorities have begun deportation proceedings to return the pair to the United States, where Couch will apparently face limited consequences—decidedly less than his mother.
Couch was buzzed on Valium and drunk on stolen beer when he killed four people while driving drunk in 2013. He pleaded guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and walked away with only 10 years of probation after a psychologist called by the defense attributed his misbehavior to his family’s wealth. At a hearing last year, the judge who sentenced Couch said she was not influenced by the psychologist’s “affluenza” remark, and that the blame was Couch’s alone, according to the Star-Telegram.
If Couch’s case is tried in the juvenile court system, The Washington Post reports, “any sentence for violating his probation would expire at his 19th birthday in April. A hearing to transfer his case to an adult court will be held in January; a change to adult status could extend his probation and include a 120-day stay in jail.”
Granted, four months is stricter than any punishment Couch has faced up to this point. Tonya Couch likely won’t be so lucky. According to Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson, Tonya will likely be charged with hindering apprehension, which carries a sentence of up to ten years.