Tonya Couch's lawyers: She 'looks forward' to return to Texas

Fugitive "affluenza teen" Ethan Couch remains in custody in Mexico City after his mother, Tonya, was deported to the U.S. Lauren Zakalik has more.

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

FORT WORTH — Tonya Couch, the mother of fugitive "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch, has been officially charged with hindering apprehension and her bond has been set at $1 million.

Couch's lawyers say she will not fight extradition and voluntarily return to Texas, most likely after a hearing next week.

"Tonya is currently in the custody of California authorities in Los Angeles," said lawyers Stephanie K. Patten and Steve Gordon in a statement. "She looks forward to being returned to Texas as quickly as possible. 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."

Couch was deported back to the U.S. Wednesday night and booked into the Los Angeles County Jail. There's no word yet on when she will be brought back to Tarrant County. She cannot pay her $1 million bond in Los Angeles, that must be done in Tarrant County.

According to the AP, the National Immigration Institute official said Tonya Couch left late Wednesday afternoon on a flight from Guadalajara, Mexico to Los Angeles. The person was not authorized to discuss the case and revealed the information on condition of anonymity.

The official says she was sent home because immigration authorities did not receive a judge's injunction like the one that temporarily blocked the deportation of her son. He remains in custody in Mexico.

Ethan Couch was picked up in a van and taken away from the immigration facility Wednesday afternoon. Mexican authorities told ABC News that Ethan was being taken to Mexico City.

U.S. officials said earlier Wednesday that the deportation of Ethan and Tonya Couch could take months.

The immigration facility in Guadalajara where they were held is a massive, white building with a towering fence encompassing it. For a few, brief moments before Ethan was driven to Mexico, he was seen walking near the facility's front gate as he made his was to a transport van. The van then sped off quickly as reporters and photographers tried to catch a glimpse.

Both Ethan and Tonya Couch filed a writ of amparo, which is a similar protection as America's writ of habeas corpus, said Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Richard Hunter during a news conference Wednesday in Houston.

"We anticipate the deportation continuing," Hunter said. "At this time, we don't have a time frame. We don't know if the Mexicans have the highest priority on this case like we do here in America. It's on their time schedule. We've seen these things happen as quickly as two weeks to two months."

According to Hunter, the pair were detained after authorities in the United States passed on an address to immigration officials in Mexico. The address was the suspected location of where the Couches were staying after an 11-day search for the 18 year old, who failed to show up for a meeting with his probation officer.

"An immigration agent that we contacted and gave the address to did what we call an 'encounter' with them," Hunter said of what occurred once the Couches were located. "They were asked if they were Mexican citizens, of course they're not. They were asked if they have proper documentation, they did not."

Hunter said the Couches were taken into immigration custody and the agent determined they were subject to deportation.

"Upon hiring counsel, the amparo was filed," he said. "Now it's up to an immigration court to decide if the immigration agent's decision was correct and has merit."

The Couches were being held in Guadalajara. Ethan Couch's attorneys said in a statement obtained by News 8 Wednesday said that the teen would stay in Mexico "until the Mexican Federal Judge ascertains whether or not Ethan's rights are, or potentially will be, violated." The full statement reads as follows:

"As we have previously stated, we have been retained to represent Ethan in a juvenile justice matter pending in Tarrant County, Texas. When we learned that Ethan had been detained in Mexico, we wanted to insure that he would be treated fairly in accordance with Mexican law, as we would for any other client. Since neither of us is licensed or qualified to practice law in Mexico, we assisted Ethan's family in finding counsel for him in Mexico. Late this afternoon, the attorney who has been retained to represent Ethan in court proceedings in Mexico provided us with information indicating that a Mexican Federal Judge has granted an injunction and stay of all proceedings. We believe this means Ethan will remain where he is until the Mexican Federal Judge ascertains whether or not Ethan's rights are, or potentially will be, violated. Accordingly, we believe that, until the Mexican Federal Judge enters an appropriate order authorizing it, Ethan will not be returned to the United States. We are uncertain how long the legal process in Mexico will take or how it will ultimately be resolved. Therefore, we are not in a position to make any additional statements concerning this matter at this time."

Hunter said based on several signatures seen on the amparo, it appears the Couches hired several attorneys.

"It seems to me, if [the Couches] wanted to, they could pay them as much money as they want to, drag this thing out as long as they want to," he said.

Upon news of the delay in extradition, Sheriff Dee Anderson in Tarrant County expressed his frustration on Twitter:

On Tuesday, Tarrant County officials said there was evidence that Couch and his mother threw a going-away party before driving themselves across the border into Mexico. The pair was arrested while trying to order a pizza.

Couch was given 10 years of probation for a drunk driving crash that killed four people in 2013. During his trial, it was suggested that "affluenza" was to blame, meaning Couch didn't know the consequences of his actions because he was raised by rich parents who didn't teach him differently.

Recently video surfaced of Couch at a party where beer pong was being played, and authorities believe he ran because he was going to get in trouble for violating his probation.

The Tarrant County DA says Tonya Couch faces two to 10 years in prison. The DA says she will try to move Ethan Couch to adult court so he faces a harsher sentence.

Ethan Couch's father, Fred, said in a statement obtained by ABC News that he was "cooperating" with authorities.

"Fred Couch has been cooperating with officials from the Tarrant County District Attorneys Office and the U.S. Marshals Service in their search for Ethan," the statement issued through Fred Couch's attorney, Lance Evans, reads. "He is very appreciative of efforts by these and other agencies to safely locate his son. Because of Ethan's pending legal issues, Mr. Couch will have no additional comment at this time."


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