Crime

Tonya Couch, mother of ‘affluenza’ teen Ethan Couch, is back in jail

Tonya Couch — the mother of a teen who caused a drunken driving crash that killed four people and injured several others in 2013 — is back in jail.

Couch, 52, is still awaiting trial on charges related to helping her son Ethan Couch escape to Mexico in 2015.

Couch has been in and out of jail over the last year after being accused of violating the terms of her release. She was arrested in March 2018 when she tested positive for a prohibited substance. She posted her $75,000 bond in May, but was accused of using methamphetamine and rearrested in June. During a bond reduction hearing in August, a judge told Couch she couldn’t use drugs and denied the lowering of her bond. New bond conditions were filed in October, but Couch was still barred from using any substances.

She has been back in jail since Friday, according to Tarrant County jail booking reports. Court documents cite a positive urinalysis.

Couch and her son, Ethan Couch, garnered national attention after a witness at his trial said he suffered from “affluenza,” meaning that his affluent upbringing and dysfunctional parents kept him from learning right from wrong.

Tonya Couch is accused of withdrawing $30,000 from a bank account and hiding with her son in Mexico after he missed a probation appointment in 2015.

Ethan Couch was sentenced to 10 years’ probation in the case but had been jailed for violating the conditions of his probation.

He was released from jail in April 2018 after completing his two-year sentence for violating the terms of his probation. He was allowed to remove his GPS monitor in March of this year, but he still must comply with other conditions of his release, according to Tarrant County court documents.

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Nichole Manna is an investigative reporter for the Star-Telegram. Before moving to Fort Worth in July 2018, she covered crime and breaking news in Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska and Kansas. She is a 2012 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University and grew up in Florida.
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