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U.S. officials have charged the mother of a young man known in the media as the “Affluenza teen.”
Tonya Couch and her son, Ethan, allegedly fled to Mexico in November. Ethan Couch was wanted by U.S. officials for violating his probation, in connection with a drunk-driving crash that killed four people in 2013.
Mexico deported the mother of the Affluenza teen on Wednesday. She is charged with “hindering the apprehension” of her son. In other words, she is charged with helping her son flee to Mexico. If convicted, she could face between two and 10 years in jail.
The word “affluenza” is a play on the words “affluent,” which means wealthy or rich, and “influenza” -- or the flu. Ethan Couch got the nickname during his trial. A defense expert said that his wealthy parents treated him too softly. He said Couch was not able to tell right from wrong, and lacks a sense of responsibility.
This Dec. 28, 2015 photo released by Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office shows a youth identified as Ethan Couch after he was taken into custody in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The 2013 crash happened when Couch was 16 years old and drunk. He crashed into a car that was on the side of the road. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 10 years of probation.
Ethan Couch missed a required meeting with his probation officer in Texas on December 10. Officials say they believe he fled in November, after a video surfaced showing him drinking at a party. That is a violation of his probation rules.
The mother and son were taken into custody Monday in Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s west coast. U.S. officials located the two when Ethan Couch used one of their phones to order pizza.
It could be weeks before Ethan Couch is sent back to the United States. On Wednesday, his lawyers filed a petition to temporarily block his deportation from Mexico.
The phrase “Carrot Top” trended on Twitter after Tonya Couch’s return to the U.S. Many on Twitter commented on her resemblance to Carrot Top, the American comedian.
And that’s What’s Trending Today.
I’m Ashley Thompson.
Words in This Story
apprehension - n. the act of arresting someone for a crime
affluent - adj. having a large amount of money and owning many expensive things
influenza - n. a common illness that is caused by a virus and that causes fever, weakness, severe aches and pains, and breathing problems
probation - n. a situation or period of time in which a person who has committed a crime is allowed to stay out of prison if that person behaves well and does not commit another crime
resemblance - n. the state of looking or being like someone or something else