At long last, the infamous "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch may pay for his crimes.
Couch and his mother were detained in Mexico Tuesday morning in the Pacific resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Couch and his mother were being sought by Texas authorities after he disappeared when video surfaced of him allegedly violating his 10-year probation. Texas authorities then issued a warrant for his arrest. Couch, 18, was under probation for a 2013 drunk driving crash that killed four people and drew nationwide attention over his lawyers' use of his privileged upbringing as part of their defense at trial.
The U.S. Marshals Service tracked Couch down using electronic surveillance, including tracking a cell phone believed to be linked to him, an official briefed on the investigation told CNN. The Marshals Service alerted Mexican authorities, who detained Couch and his mother.
Once "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, are repatriated to the United States, both will be taken into custody, Tarrant County, Texas, Sheriff Dee Anderson said Tuesday morning. Ethan Couch will be put into the juvenile system and appear before a juvenile judge, and his mother will be arrested and face a charge of hindering apprehension.
Couch could face a maximum sentence of four months in the juvenile system, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson said. Wilson said she wants to move Couch's case to adult court, where the punishment could be more severe.
Doc and Skip, in for Glenn, discussed details of the case on air today. Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors.
DOC: His name is Ethan Couch. Do you remember Ethan Couch, also known as the affluenza kid. Affluenza teen. Let me refresh your memory. 2013, at the age of 16, Ethan Couch was speeding, driving a pickup truck in excessive rates of speed. He had a blood alcohol level of almost three times the legal limit, which technically there was no legal limit for him because he was 16.
He fatally struck a stranded motorist on the side of the road and also killed three Good Samaritans who had stopped to help the stranded motorist. Yes, at the age of 16, while drinking and he should not have been, while driving, having been intoxicated and should not have been, killed four people. Also, injured several people riding in the truck with him, including one who is permanently brain damaged.
That was Ethan Couch in 2013. At the trial, he was convicted. And he got probation. He got probation because a psychologist said that he can't tell the difference between wrong and right because he's so wealthy, his parents are so affluent, they have raised him in such an affluent environment that he suffers from affluenza.
DOC: Yeah, affluent affluenza, if you will, affluenza because he's so wealthy.
SKIP: It's the rich illness.
DOC: We can't sentence him to jail for killing four people. We can't do that because he's so rich. He doesn't know what's right and wrong. Apparently, you can be so rich, you don't know what's right and wrong.
He was sentenced to ten years probation. Recently, a video surfaced of him showing him at a party likely violating his probation. I'm going to play a little clip of the video. It's very visual, but we'll play a little of the audio for you. And then we'll go ahead and tweet a link to the video so you can see it. The video shows him playing beer pong
SKIP: Yeah, he's playing beer pong with a bunch of people. He's off to the side. I don't know he was in the exact match. But him and his buddies apparently playing the beer pong.
DOC: At 18, possibly drinking, possibly violating his parole. You can hear them partying. Then you hear the buddy at the end of the beer pong table take a run and jump on to the table and it collapses and everybody laughs. Likely in a drunken stupor. Here's the audio.
DOC: He was at this likely violating his parole. After that came out, when faced with questions violating a probation, he disappeared. No one could find him. His mom disappeared as well. Which prompted the county in Texas which he lives in to put him on the county's most wanted list and issue a warrant. Nobody could find him though. His passport gone. His mom's passport, gone. So he and his mommy, 48-year-old Tonya Couch have been discovered. I'm happy to tell you this morning they've found them and they're being detained in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Likely to be turned over to the U.S. Marshal service. The affluenza teen may finally actually pay for his crimes.
SKIP: Which is wonderful. Not since -- not since OJ Simpson had I had the feelings of, wow, the legal system really got this wrong.
DOC: This is unbelievable. If there's anybody in America that actually says, "Oh, I could see he should have only got ten years probation," I would be shocked. Who in their right mind would say that it's any type of consideration when you commit a crime that you're so rich you don't know what you're doing. If anything, couldn't you say that somebody is so poor that they don't know what they're doing. I mean, that's still not an argument. But it's a better one than you're so rich. At least you could say I'm so poor that I was raised in an environment of criminals or I'm so poor I had to do something because I'm so hungry. But to say I'm so rich I'm above the law!
SKIP: And how can this be a defense when -- obviously ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense. So you not knowing the right or wrong of it too, isn't that kind of in the same vein of ignorance of the law?
DOC: I know one thing, he may suffer from affluenza, but very soon he'll be suffering from arrestogenic shock. Possibly Bubba Love Syndrome.
SKIP: Yeah, probably.
DOC: Well, I don't know if he'll suffer from those. But he'll definitely feel some sort of pain in his lower quardrant. His backside. Something like that. Probably going to happen.
SKIP: The prison shakes, if you will.
DOC: Could be. Could be.
How do you do that with a straight face? I guess the psychologist -- maybe if you're getting paid, you could do it with a straight face. But an attorney, a psychologist -- you know, because a psychologist, you're supposed to be a doctor. What about your oath? And you're really going to throw this out there? I mean, I know you're getting paid by the defense or whatever.
SKIP: Probably handsomely, by the way.
DOC: But still, does your oath not matter to you? Do you have such low standards for your profession that you would throw out there, he's so rich, he doesn't know what he's doing and it's a syndrome, affluenza?
SKIP: And if you do somehow hit the legal lottery that Ethan Couch was able to get the winning chance for, gets that second chance, where you won't be in jail for murdering four people, how then do you continue to just completely not give a damn about anything and flee, continue to drink underage, and then after this not attempt to do a mea culpa with your life.
DOC: What this shows is having affluenza. That the reason or one of the reasons or a contributing factor to him drinking and driving at 16, killing four people and then still not taking responsibility is that his parents have never made him take responsibility. They likely coddled him with their affluent lifestyle. Never forcing him to take responsibility. And by claiming affluenza, where he gets ten years probation for killing four people, once again not making him take responsibility for actions. And because of that, what happened? He still is being irresponsible.
He still has not learned. Many times throughout his life he likely was not taught the hard life lessons of personal responsibility. And that led, at least a contributing factor likely to what happened. And by getting him off with ten years of probation because of your money, power, and influence, once again is doing him and society a disservice, because you don't know what he's going to end up doing. And here he is again proving what we said. He's still not being responsible. His mommy even ran away with him. Do you believe you're 18, you screw up after your parents get you off of this, killing four people, four people -- think about their families. Did they get justice?
Four families going about their lives, likely at least three of them trying to help somebody else out, being Good Samaritans. Now they're gone? This kid gets off. You go through all that. You get so lucky. And then you're still not responsible enough to keep your nose clean and you don't learn a hard life lesson? No. Because they got him off. Trust me, had his ass been sitting in jail for a couple of years, he would have been learning a lesson.
SKIP: Furthermore, the judge who said, okay, this guy did not know the difference between right and wrong, so you're saying that there's a person out there that killed four people, permanently brain damaged his friend, was so irresponsible, does not know the difference between right and wrong because he was -- you're going to put him back out on the street? This kid that does not understand what was right and what is wrong. He's raised in a system that, I don't know if this is a good or bad thing to do. Just put him back out there with probation. How is that in any way -- this guy should be locked up in a mental institute then.
DOC: You're right. If he doesn't know right from wrong and he has the money to travel and do whatever he wants -- what's going to stop him from running another four people over? I don't know.
SKIP: Oh, that was bad? Oh see, I still didn't know because I have the affluenza.
DOC: Oh, I just raped a couple of girls.
SKIP: That's bad? See, because I wanted to have sex with them. They didn't want to have sex with me, but I did. So I just raped them.
KAL: If it was my daughter that did this, I mean, I'm not going to say for sure, but I'm going to say about 90 percent that I think I would have let -- the first part, once you got to the accident, I would have let the sentence go. Let her do whatever they think is justified.
KAL: And the fact that his mother didn't do that just tells you exactly what kind of people they are.
DOC: It's Doc and Skip pitch-hitting for Glenn Beck this morning. Kal is spinning the dials radio style in New York City.
Kal -- if it were one of my sons, I would do everything I could to see them not go to jail and try to help them. You'll just do that as a parent. However, that does not mean they would not be punished. Because, first of all, I would have no reasonable expectation that he would not get punished somehow. And even probation, it's not completely let off but it's soft for killing four people.
KAL: Killing four people. I feel like that's a lesson that needs to be learned. Your parents cannot protect you from something like that. That's something you need to carry with you for the rest of your life.
DOC: Well, as a parent, Kal, I have a question, what do you think -- the mommy fled with him. They used their influence to get him off, hire attorneys, whatever. What did they say to him at the night of the incident? Four people dead, whatever. You bring the kid home. Or the next morning after he sobers up or whatever.
SKIP: Now, Ethan, you shouldn't be doing that.
DOC: Were they even angry? What did they say to him over the months and months during the investigation leading up to the trial? What did they say to him during the trial and after the trial?
KAL: Don't worry. You'll be fine. We'll take care of it.
DOC: But were they angry, Kal? Did they yell at him? Did they discipline him themself?
KAL: I would like to think they would, but the actions I'm seeing doesn't tell me that they did.
DOC: No, I don't think they did. I think they were like, you know what you need, a time out.
SKIP: Go sit in the corner now, Ethan.
DOC: Right. I don't think they were even angry at him.
SKIP: I'm going to take away your Mercedes. You'll have to drive the Jetta now. Okay?
DOC: Let me get some calls in. We'll open the phone lines. 877-727-BECK.
What would you as a parent do and say in this situation? What would you do? What would your parents have done or said to you if you were Ethan Couch? 877-727-BECK.
Doc and Skip pitch-hitting for Glenn Beck today.
Featured Image: Ethan Couch after being detained by Mexico authorities. Source: ABC News/Jalisco State Prosecutor's Office.