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Lawyer: Mom of 'affluenza' teen didn't break law

Posted at 5:03 PM, Dec 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-31 20:03:22-05

Attorneys for the mother of a fugitive 18-year-old known for using an "affluenza" defense in a drunken-driving case say she never violated Texas law when she and her son went to Mexico.

Lawyers for Tonya Couch released a statement Thursday confirming she was in the custody of California authorities in Los Angeles. Couch was deported from Mexico and was flown to Los Angeles early Thursday morning.

Attorneys Stephanie K. Patten and Steve Gordon say their client looks forward to being returned to Texas "as soon as possible."

Their statement says that, "While the public may not like what she did, may not agree with what she did, or may have strong feelings against what she did, make no mistake: Tonya did not violate any law of the State of Texas and she is eager to have her day in court."

Her son, Ethan, is being held in an immigration facility in Mexico City.

Couch was picked up by the LAPD's fugitive task force shortly after 1:30 a.m. Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport.

Eisenman says Couch will be held until U.S. marshals arrive to take her to Texas, where she and her son, 18-year-old Ethan Couch, live and where he was on probation for the 2013 crash.

Authorities believe the Couches fled to Mexico in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Ethan Couch remains in a Mexican jail.

Eisenman didn't know why Tonya Couch came through Los Angeles or when she would be transported.

Deputy U.S. Marshal Eugene Hwang said Thursday that he couldn't immediately comment.