FORT WORTH, Texas - A hearing has been delayed to consider whether a Texas teenager known for using an "affluenza" defense violated his probation in a fatal drunken-driving wreck.
Attorneys for Ethan Couch, who is being held in Mexico, convinced a judge to recess the Tuesday hearing shortly after it started in Fort Worth. They said Couch's mother, Tonya, should've been notified. The next hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 19.
"The judge looked at the file. He followed the letter of the law. This judge knows the juvenile law backwards and fowards and he found the state could not go forward with the transfer motion today," said Scott Brown, Couch's attorney.
Brown also said understands Couch's attorney in Mexico has now filed the necessary paperwork to essentially release the injunction and clear the way for his return to the United States.
"Documents have been filed that they believe he has been treated fairly by the Mexican government and all his rights are being protected. A document has been filed putting the process forward," he said.
Brown would not admit to having a strategy for keeping the teen in Mexico until after he turns 19. He said the decisions in Mexico are being made by Couch's Mexican counsel so that his rights are protected.
"Our strategy is always based on doing what's in the best interest of Ethan," he said.
Tonya Couch is accused of helping her 18-year-old son flee to Mexico after prosecutors began investigating whether he'd violated his probation in the 2013 wreck that killed four people. She was released on bond last week.
Authorities said the pair fled in December, after video surfaced that appeared to show Ethan Couch at a party where people were drinking. Consuming alcohol would violate his probation.
Because Tuesday's hearing did begin, it is still possible for Couch to be transferred to the adult system when he turns 19 in April.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.