US

'Affluenza' teen grew up in wealthy but unstable home before deadly drunken-driving wreck

  • This Dec. 28, 2015 photo released by Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office shows who authorities identify as Ethan Couch, after he was taken into custody in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. U.S. authorities said the Texas teenager serving probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck after invoking an "affluenza" defense, was in custody in Mexico, weeks after he and his mother disappeared. (Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office via AP)

    This Dec. 28, 2015 photo released by Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office shows who authorities identify as Ethan Couch, after he was taken into custody in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. U.S. authorities said the Texas teenager serving probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck after invoking an "affluenza" defense, was in custody in Mexico, weeks after he and his mother disappeared. (Mexico's Jalisco state prosecutor's office via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This undated photo provided by the Jalisco state prosecutor’s office shows Tonya Couch. Authorities said Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who's serving probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck after invoking an "affluenza" defense, was in custody in Mexico, weeks after he and his mother, Tonya Couch, disappeared. Tonya and Ethan Couch were located and detained Monday, Dec. 28, in Puerto Vallarta. (Courtesy of Jalisco state prosecutor’s office)

    This undated photo provided by the Jalisco state prosecutor’s office shows Tonya Couch. Authorities said Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who's serving probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck after invoking an "affluenza" defense, was in custody in Mexico, weeks after he and his mother, Tonya Couch, disappeared. Tonya and Ethan Couch were located and detained Monday, Dec. 28, in Puerto Vallarta. (Courtesy of Jalisco state prosecutor’s office)  (The Associated Press)

The Texas teenager who used an "affluenza" defense in a deadly drunken-driving wreck grew up in a wealthy yet unstable household.

Court records show Ethan Couch's parents underwent an acrimonious divorce that included accusations that his mother was addicted to pain pills and his father was physically and verbally abusive.

The divorce provides a revealing backdrop for the latest chapter in Couch's troubled life: The teen and his mother were arrested Monday after fleeing to Mexico while he was on probation.

In 2006, a social worker concluded that the Couches had allowed their then-9-year-old son to become overly involved in adult issues and decisions.

On Wednesday, he won a three-day delay in deportation that could allow him to challenge efforts to send him back to the U.S.