Video: “Affluenza mom” sent to Los Angeles, teen still in Mexico

posted at 10:01 am on December 31, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Mexico has deported [see update] of “Affluenza Mom” Tonya Couch to the US, but not her son Ethan, whose four vehicular homicides first put both of the Couches on the national radar. The CBS affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth reports that the mom’s case was less complicated than the son’s, thanks to an overstay on her visa, but that Mexican authorities are taking Ethan’s case a little more seriously. It may take weeks before Texas authorities see either of them, however:

Tonya Couch arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight from Mexico in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, and was taken in handcuffs through the terminal to an unmarked Dodge Charger early Thursday morning. She was wearing blue street clothes and looked away from cameras as she walked, flanked by two marshals.

She is now in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department.

It was unclear why she was brought to Los Angeles instead of Texas, where she and her son live and where he was on probation for the 2013 drunk driving crash. U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Eugene Hwang stated that he could not reveal any details about her trip through California or say how long she might remain here, citing security concerns in transporting someone in custody.

Why Los Angeles? Reuters reports that Tonya is being flown to Texas via California, which makes little sense at all. Texas would actually be closer on a flight than LA from either Puerto Vallarta or Guadalajara, where Ethan is being held without bail. The US certainly has plenty of federal facilities in Texas to handle fugitives on the lam. It seems like an unnecessary step under the known circumstances, so it perhaps raises questions about what other trouble Tonya Couch has managed to find. (Or, alternately, it might raise questions about the efficiency of the federal government.) She’s already in plenty of trouble as it is, and might be looking at 10 years in federal prison for her role in helping her son evade justice.

The Couches aren’t exactly master criminals, however, as the manner of their arrest shows:

Mexican police said that Couch and his mother spent three days in a rented condo at a resort development in Puerto Vallarta before finding an apartment. One of the Couches’ telephones had been used to order delivery from Domino’s Pizza to the condominium complex in Puerto Vallarta’s old town, according to a police report issued by the Jalisco state prosecutors’ office.

Agents from the prosecutors’ office went to the complex, where a tourism operator told them that the people who had occupied the condo were asked to vacate because the owners were coming to stay over Christmas, the report said. The Couches then moved to an apartment, and the agents set up a surveillance operation in the surrounding streets.

On Monday evening, two people matching the Couches’ description were spotted and intercepted. The police report said that they behaved evasively, claimed to be carrying no IDs, gave inconsistent stories about their names and failed to provide proof of their legal migratory status in Mexico.

So their master plan for escape was…

  1. Go to Mexico.
  2. Hide out in a tourist resort town teeming with Americans who would be familiar with the case.
  3. Dye hair an impossible shade of black. (Ethan only.)
  4. Don’t bother to come up with a cover story or some sort of false documents to explain their presence if challenged.
  5. TBD
  6. Freedom!

Their post-arrest strategy was only marginally better. Tonya’s attempt at fighting extradition was based on a claim that police stole her dog and invalidated her arrest, which is as weak of an argument as “affluenza.” Unfortunately for Tonya, authorities in Mexico are a lot less gullible than was the judge who presided over Ethan’s quadruple-homicide case. CBS-DFW reports that the same authorities are treating Ethan’s extradition fight more seriously, however, considering his status as an “international fugitive.” (Question: why wouldn’t that tag apply to Tonya?) It could take weeks or months for Ethan’s case to be resolved, but his eventual extradition appears to be just a matter of time. And in the meanwhile, Ethan Couch gets to live in a Mexican prison rather than a Texas juvenile facility, where his case will be initially handled on his return to the US.

In the meantime, let’s hope that the media stays focused on the truly pressing question in all of this red tape … what happened to the dog? Sounds like it’s worth more than both Couches put together.

Update: Commenters note that Mexico seems to have deported Tonya Couch on their own rather than the US winning her extradition, but the US had applied for her extradition, too. Let’s call it a draw and say that both nations got exactly what they wanted with Affluenza Mom. I’ve changed it to emphasize Mexico’s actions.

Update: Again, first paragraph: “first both” should have been “first put both.” I’ve fixed it.


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Comments

Redheads are either smoking hot or smoking NOT.

Mizz Couch is in the latter category.

ConstantineXI on December 31, 2015 at 10:03 AM

The US has successfully won extradition of “Affluenza Mom” Tonya Couch from Mexico

I am pretty sure she was deported.

cozmo on December 31, 2015 at 10:03 AM

The US has successfully won extradition of “Affluenza Mom” Tonya Couch from Mexico

It all depends on what your definition of the word “won” is…

ConstantineXI on December 31, 2015 at 10:06 AM

Can we trade our Affluenza candidate, Donald Trump, for the Affluenza teen?

DRayRaven on December 31, 2015 at 10:07 AM

I saw the video footage of her “blending in” with her new surroundings by visiting the market across the street and getting into an argument because they wouldn’t accept her US dollars instead of the local currency. No word if the “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM!?” card was played. ;-)

Marcus on December 31, 2015 at 10:09 AM

…reports that the mom’s case was less complicated than the son’s, thanks to an overstay on her visa…

Guess Mexico doesn’t have sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants? Huh.

HumpBot Salvation on December 31, 2015 at 10:10 AM

The US has successfully won extradition of “Affluenza Mom” Tonya Couch from Mexico
It all depends on what your definition of the word “won” is…

ConstantineXI on December 31, 2015 at 10:06 AM

I’m just wondering if President Obama was involved, in which case it becomes a question of how many U.S. jailed Mexican drug lords were traded to “win” her extradition.

parke on December 31, 2015 at 10:14 AM

And in the meanwhile, Ethan Couch gets to live in a Mexican prison rather than a Texas juvenile facility,

Will probably do him some good.

butch on December 31, 2015 at 10:14 AM

And in the meanwhile, Ethan Couch gets to live in a Mexican prison rather than a Texas juvenile facility,

You know, if I were the the U.S. prosecutor I would drag out the extradition as long as possible. From what I’ve heard about the case it might be hard to convert the 10 years probation into prison time and he might only get a few months on the evasion charge. Don’t know if Mexican jail time would count towards those few months but hey, spending it in a Mexican jail rather than a US one? And without mommy in the country? So much the better.

rbj on December 31, 2015 at 10:15 AM

And in the meanwhile, Ethan Couch gets to live in a Mexican prison rather than a Texas juvenile facility,

Will probably do him some good.

butch on December 31, 2015 at 10:14 AM

He’s probably already become Manuel Jose’s b!itch.

ConstantineXI on December 31, 2015 at 10:16 AM

She was flown to California because all the flights to Texas were booked up. That was reported on the local news last night. But seeing that she was deported and not extradited they probably didn’t care where they sent her.

Corsair on December 31, 2015 at 10:20 AM

Guess Mexico doesn’t have sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants? Huh.

HumpBot Salvation on December 31, 2015 at 10:10 AM

Depends on whether you can afford the Police Chief’s rates or not.

antipc on December 31, 2015 at 10:23 AM

Can we trade our Affluenza candidate, Donald Trump, for the Affluenza teen?

DRayRaven on December 31, 2015 at 10:07 AM

No. Trump has a purpose, and is being used to YUUUUUGE effect.

dominigan on December 31, 2015 at 10:23 AM

There are several grammatical errors in this article. (Sorry Ed, I only noticed because Jazz pointed out that nobody caught his spelling mistake)

Buckshot Bill on December 31, 2015 at 10:26 AM

Can we trade our Affluenza candidate, Donald Trump Jeb Bush, for the Affluenza teen?

DRayRaven on December 31, 2015 at 10:07 AM

FIFY, and still no. Jeb’s a spoiled, entitled brat, but not a murderous one. So far as I know.

Buckshot Bill on December 31, 2015 at 10:27 AM

Mexico let mom go so she could come to the States, liquidate assets and put together bribe money.

tommyboy on December 31, 2015 at 10:30 AM

whose four vehicular homicides first both of the Couches on the national radar

Ed can you correct this please?
thanks.

dmacleo on December 31, 2015 at 10:31 AM

So their master plan for escape was…

1. Go to Mexico.
2. Hide out in a tourist resort town teeming with Americans who would be familiar with the case.
3. Dye hair an impossible shade of black. (Ethan only.)
4. Don’t bother to come up with a cover story or some sort of false documents to explain their presence if challenged.
5. TBD
6. Freedom!

Hmm… that’s surprisingly similar to Obi-wan’s plan to hide Luke from Darth Vader. Except the hair dye part.

Buckshot Bill on December 31, 2015 at 10:32 AM

the mexico-california-texas question MAY (and take this with huge grain of salt) be a contracted airlines issue.
have no idea what airline is contracted to transport though so I may be wrong.

dmacleo on December 31, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Can we trade our Affluenza candidate, Donald Trump, for the Affluenza teen?

DRayRaven on December 31, 2015 at 10:07 AM

Donald hasn’t killed anyone that I know of. And the Mexican illegals, with the acquiescence of our government, send enough of our capital to Mexico. I’d like to keep Donald’s here.

‘Affluenza’ was presented as a mitigating factor for the kid’s anti-social behavior, i.e. his inability to fully discern right from wrong. Could you please provide some examples of comparable behavior on Trump’s part … not sourced in your own wealth-envy?

M240H on December 31, 2015 at 10:34 AM

Isn’t it obvious?

The meh-heecans need her in the US so she can send dinero

Mr Soames on December 31, 2015 at 10:37 AM

Unfortunately for Tonya, authorities in Mexico are a lot less gullible than was the judge who presided over Ethan’s quadruple-homicide case.

I’m actually beginning to think the Judge got it right in that quadruple-homicide case. Think about it. Ethan’s light sentence was based on the idea that he was raised in a world foreign of the values of real society.

So… When Ethan is exposed as violating his probation what do the parents do? Do they sit him down and explain that actions have consequences? Do they hire him an attorney? Or do they make the decision to go on the lam to Mexico? I could easily make the case that Ethan’s a irreparably broken person because of his parents.

Happy Nomad on December 31, 2015 at 10:37 AM

Mexico has deported [see update] of “Affluenza Mom” Tonya Couch to the US, but not her son Ethan, whose four vehicular homicides first both of the Couches on the national radar.

Is that sentence a product of Google Translate?

Galtian on December 31, 2015 at 10:37 AM

Wait? They deported an American? But we can’t deport Mexicans?

Bigbullets on December 31, 2015 at 10:38 AM

And in the meanwhile, Ethan Couch gets to live in a Mexican prison rather than a Texas juvenile facility,

Ethan will come to understand that getting to know Jesus means something completely different than it does in the United States.

Happy Nomad on December 31, 2015 at 10:41 AM

:..“international fugitive.” (Question: why wouldn’t that tag apply to Tonya?)”

DId I miss something? Was Tonya accused of a crime before she skedaddled with her demon spawn? If no, that answers your question; she was just a garden variety illegal alien.

pat buchanatar on December 31, 2015 at 10:45 AM

Is that sentence a product of Google Translate?

Galtian on December 31, 2015 at 10:37 AM

LOL

lorien1973 on December 31, 2015 at 10:50 AM

Carrot Top is the Affluenza mom? Stay away from steroids.

truerino on December 31, 2015 at 10:53 AM

Extradition shouldn’t be necessary. Since Couch is a Federal fugitive, I’m assuming that his U.S. passport has been revoked or is in the process of being revoked. If you are a U.S. citizen in a foreign country and you do not have a valid passport, that makes you an illegal alien in that country, and they can simply deport you back where you came from. (A good thing, since extradition is a complicated legal process that can take years–see: “Polanski, Roman”). So I would assume that after the Mexican immigration court has considered the case, Couch will simply be deported back to the U.S. (Unlike the U.S., Mexico actually enforces its immigration laws pretty aggressively).

In any case, I am guessing that after a couple of weeks in a Mexican immigration jail, surrounded by Honduran and Salvadoran MS-13 gangbangers and such, Couch will suddenly realize that going back to Texas doesn’t sound so bad.

Hayabusa on December 31, 2015 at 11:07 AM

The Couches aren’t exactly master criminals, however

Based on the actions of this entire family, I am guessing that NASA isn’t missing any rocket scientists.

Hayabusa on December 31, 2015 at 11:09 AM

Hang them both.

LoganSix on December 31, 2015 at 11:14 AM

Hang them both.
LoganSix on December 31, 2015 at 11:14 AM

First we tattoo them, then we hang them and then we shot them.
-I say we let him go!

tdarrington on December 31, 2015 at 11:21 AM

Seems like Mexico doesn’t like illegal immigrants.

tdarrington on December 31, 2015 at 11:23 AM

Redefining “couch potato”, one extradition at a time.

Rix on December 31, 2015 at 11:26 AM

How did this f***twit family get so wealthy in the first place?

They seem like total idiots on top of being scumbags.

Sacramento on December 31, 2015 at 11:27 AM

Happy New Year.
سنة سعيدة
Frohes Neues Jahr – Gutes Neues Jahr
Καλή χρονιά
Buon anno – Felice anno nuovo
あけましておめでとうございます
新年快乐
Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku
Bonne Année
С Новым Годом
Feliz Año Nuevo

That should cover any complaints from the SJW.

Walter L. Newton on December 31, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Welcome to real life.

jnelchef on December 31, 2015 at 11:35 AM

How did this f***twit family get so wealthy in the first place?

By the time he was 21, he was the president and owner of Cleburne Sheet Metal, which does large-scale metal roofing. It’s not clear where he got the capital to start the business, but the company now employs about 40 people, and its website shows photos of completed commercial jobs all across North Texas. During a deposition, Fred was asked if, during a 1992 DWI stop, he had told a police officer, “I make more in a day than you make in a year.” His answer: “Probably.”

LeftCoastRight on December 31, 2015 at 11:47 AM

Picture of Tonya Couch.

justltl on December 31, 2015 at 12:18 PM

justltl on December 31, 2015 at 12:18 PM

I prefer Tanya.

cozmo on December 31, 2015 at 12:34 PM

…the mom’s case was less complicated than the son’s, thanks to an overstay on her visa

That’s some grade-A irony right there…

JetBoy on December 31, 2015 at 1:22 PM

the mom’s case was less complicated than the son’s, thanks to an overstay on her visa

We need to adopt Mexico’s strict immigrant policies.

Nomennovum on December 31, 2015 at 1:30 PM

…this calls for a White House invitation!

JugEarsButtHurt on December 31, 2015 at 1:35 PM

what happened to the dog?

Sent to Hawaii per special request of the President, I hear. For what purpose we do not know, but what is known is that Valerie Jarrett fired the usual White House chef and has flown in a new chef from Indonesia in time for to a the Presidential New Year’s Eve Luau tonight.

Nomennovum on December 31, 2015 at 1:38 PM

Drop douchebag mommy and scumbag son in Zetas territory and spread the word that both of them are Narcs and let nature take its course.

bbinfl on December 31, 2015 at 1:41 PM

It seems like an unnecessary step under the known circumstances, so it perhaps raises questions about what other trouble Tonya Couch has managed to find. (Or, alternately, it might raise questions about the efficiency of the federal government.)

Or, as an alternative to the alternative, it might be that the federal government plans simply to release her after apologizing profusely for the inconvenience of detaining her — but not before they hand her a lovely swag-bag chock full of premium goodies from stores on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.

In other words, they plan to treat her just like they treat your everyday average illegal alien coming in from Mexico.

FlameWarrior on December 31, 2015 at 2:27 PM

So they send her to LA where she is processed and booked. All her lawyers are in Texas. She’ll spend NYE in jail. Then sometime next week she is extradited to Texas. With luck she’ll travel by Con-Bus. Then she’ll be arraigned and can finally post bail.

myiq2xu on December 31, 2015 at 2:30 PM

Drop douchebag mommy and scumbag son in Zetas territory and spread the word that both of them are Narcs feelthy rich and let nature take its course.

FTFY

myiq2xu on December 31, 2015 at 2:32 PM

So all this to avoid 40 measly days in jail for a breach. Well i guess having money doesn’t make one smart. And by the way the kid has a horrible case of fetal alcohol syndrome. I work with people who are born with it everyday and he looks worse than most.

Pegcity on December 31, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Meanwhile. does anyone know where MR. Tonya Couch is …um… couched? Is he complicit in this whole screw-the-law scenario, or is he reveling in the prospect of being free of both spouse and spawn?

ricoliv on December 31, 2015 at 3:33 PM

“Affluenza”. I wonder where that was hiding within judicial notice.

I’ll bet many a lawyer could win many cases by concocting new diseases and the like out of thin air by melding a couple words. The court seems to eat it right up! (I think that comes under the heading of “Baffling with Bu11shit”.)

Woody

woodcdi on December 31, 2015 at 8:05 PM

Jesus loves you. Good thing to hear in Church, bad thing to hear in a Mexican prison. Plus I don’t think they have Domino’s Pizza there.

deimos on January 1, 2016 at 7:25 AM

Sent to Hawaii per special request of the President, I hear.

Nomennovum on December 31, 2015 at 1:38 PM

Darn. Beat me to it. First thought that came to my mind.

unclesmrgol on January 1, 2016 at 6:49 PM

I am guessing that after a couple of weeks in a Mexican immigration jail, surrounded by Honduran and Salvadoran MS-13 gangbangers and such, Couch will suddenly realize that going back to Texas doesn’t sound so bad. Hayabusa

I suspect in a Texas or California jail Couch will also have a lot of contact with Honduran and Salvadoran MS-13 gangbangers….

kd6rxl on January 1, 2016 at 9:22 PM

This whole debacle makes me ashamed of my home state of Texas — or at least one judge in my state.

I think mandatory sentencing laws are generally a bad idea, but this case is the example that will be used to introduce more such laws in the next session of the Texas Legislature.

We get more stupid laws because of stupid judges. I suspect a Bar Association conspiracy. The more litigation lawyers can bring, the more money they can extract from us hard working common folk to make their Maserati payments.

s1im on January 2, 2016 at 9:51 PM