Ethan Couch – who used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drink driving crash – has been detained in Mexico since being caught in late December, but the teen will be back on American soil in less than a month, his lawyer says.
“It is our understanding that paperwork has been filed by Ethan’s counsel in Mexico that will terminate the ongoing Mexican immigration proceedings,” Scott Brown said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE. “We believe that this will result in Ethan’s return to the United States within the next few weeks.”
The 18-year-old and his mother, Tonya Couch were apprehended in Mexico after spending three days in a condo in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Couch was deported back to the United States, but Ethan was granted a delay in deportation, allowing him to stay in the country.
Ethan’s lawyer added that upon his arrival in the states, he will attend an upcoming hearing on the State’s Motion to Transfer.
“As was stated yesterday in open court, the hearing on the State’s Motion to Transfer to an appropriate District Court has been reset,” the statement read. “We further anticipate that, with Ethan personally present for the proceedings, the Court will lawfully transfer Ethan’s probation to an appropriate Tarrant County District Court.”
Couch was convicted of killing four people in a 2013 drunk driving crash. However, he was given probation rather than jail time after his defense team convinced a court that his pampered, affluent upbringing left him unable to comprehend his actions.
Despite being spared the first time, Ethan and his mother disappeared when accusations that the teen violated the terms of his probation surfaced. Their fleeing resulted in a weeks-long search for the pair, which ended in mounting legal trouble for the mother and son.