Fort Worth

‘Affluenza’ mom also violated bond by having gun, prosecutors allege

Tonya Couch at a bond reduction hearing in January.
Tonya Couch at a bond reduction hearing in January. Pool photo via Star-Telegram

Prosecutors on Tuesday filed an amended motion to revoke Tonya Couch’s bond, alleging that she has been in possession of a gun in addition to possessing or consuming alcohol, according to court records.

The filing follows up the motion prosecutors filed last week, seeking to revoke Couch’s bond over the alleged alcohol violation.

This week, prosecutors alleged that Couch was in possession of a gun June 24. They also changed the date of the alleged alcohol violation from June 16 to May 20. Both allegations would be violations of her bond.

Couch, the mother of “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch, is accused of withdrawing $30,000 from a bank account and fleeing with her son to Mexico after he skipped a probation appointment in 2015. She is charged with money laundering and hindering the apprehension of a felon and has been free on bond since January 2016.

Ethan Couch, 20, killed four people in a drunken-driving crash in southern Tarrant County in 2013. He received 10 years’ probation in the case and is serving time in jail as a condition of the probation.

He first received national attention three years ago after a witness at his trial said he suffered from “affluenza,” meaning that he couldn’t tell right from wrong because of his affluent upbringing.

In December 2015 he and his mother went missing after he skipped a probation appointment. They were arrested a few weeks later in a Mexican resort town and taken back to Texas.

The motions filed by prosecutors this month requested that Tonya Couch be held in custody until her trial, scheduled for Oct. 2.

The district attorney’s office and Couch’s attorneys have not commented on the allegation that she violated her bond. State District Judge Wayne Salvant issued a gag order on the case.

Tonya Couch’s bond conditions set in August allowed her to possess, but not consume, alcohol.

After prosecutors learned she was working as a bartender — a job that was approved by the county probation office — they filed a motion asking Salvant to tighten her bond conditions.

Salvant modified her bond conditions in October, adding the condition of not possessing alcohol but allowing her to remove a GPS ankle monitor, according to court records.

This report contains information from the Star-Telegram archives

Tonya Couch went home Tuesday after posting bond and receiving an electronic ankle monitor. She'll be on 24-hour home confinement as she faces a felony hindering apprehension charge. (Ryan Osborne/Star-Telegram)

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