Report: Affluenza teen Ethan Couch spent $2k on strippers, alcohol in Mexico

They are fighting, but can they win? Good Day talks to criminal defense attorney Barry Sorrels about the chances of Ethan Couch and his mother beating the system again.

A new report says affluenza teen Ethan Couch spent more than $2,000 on strippers and alcohol at two Puerto Vallarta clubs while he was hiding from authorities.

The Daily Mail reported Monday that Ethan Couch maxed out his debit card and was so drunk that employees had to help him back to the hotel he was hiding at with his mom. Tonya Couch was forced to pay the remainder of Ethan’s two tabs for strippers and booze.

Ethan partied at two clubs – Prestige and Harem, the latter of which boasts on a sign outside its building of “Boobies & Booties Galore.” The newspaper reports that he spent hours inside Harem, a nightclub also known to have hosted infamous drug lord El Chapo Guzman.

A hotel employee told The Daily Mail that Tonya Couch was “furious” Ethan had spent so much money at the clubs.

Ethan Couch, as of Monday, remained in custody at an immigration detention facility in Mexico City. Online reports say he's sleeping on a cot, in a room he shares with three or four other people. He's said to be getting three meals a day and can watch TV in a common room.

Lawyer Fernando Benitez said a Tuesday meeting with Ethan will determine whether he stretches out the process, or agrees to drop the appeal. Benitez said he was hired to represent Ethan in Mexico, but didn't say who hired him.

Benitez said the appeal centers on why Mexico tried to use a deportation proceeding instead of the longer extradition process in Ethan’s case.

Tonya Couch may agree to give up her fight and face charges in Texas. She is expected to waive extradition at a hearing Tuesday morning in Los Angeles. That means she would be returned to Tarrant County as soon as possible.

"There's no getting away now. Eventually, ultimately, they're gonna appear in a courtroom in Tarrant County and answer to what has happened," said Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson.

Tonya and her 18-year-old son, Ethan, were taken into custody last week in Mexico, where authorities believe the pair fled to in November as Texas prosecutors investigated whether Ethan had violated his probation.

Ethan was driving drunk and speeding near Fort Worth in June 2013 when he crashed into a disabled SUV, killing four people and injuring several others, including passengers in his pickup truck. He pleaded guilty to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury and was sentenced to 10 years' probation.

During the sentencing phase of his trial, a defense expert argued that Ethan’s wealthy parents had coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility -- a condition the expert termed "affluenza." The condition is not recognized as a medical diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, and its invocation drew ridicule.

Texas prosecutors believe the mother and son fled the state after a video surfaced that appears to show Ethan at a party where people were drinking. He then missed a mandatory Dec. 10 appointment with his probation officer.

The Couches were arrested last Monday after using a phone to order pizza that was traced to a condominium complex in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta.

Tonya has been charged with a felony for helping her son escape and her bond has been set at $1 million.

"One of the conditions of the warrant is that she has to post the bond in a court here in Tarrant County. She will be brought here and booked into jail and then be arraigned by a magistrate here,” Anderson said.

A hearing is scheduled in two weeks to determine if Ethan's case will be transferred to the adult courts, where he could face a stiffer sentence down the road.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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