Fort Worth

Tonya Couch, the 'affluenza' mom, is back in jail after failed drug test

Tonya Couch, leaving the Tarrant County Jail last year, has been sent back to jail after failing a drug test.
Tonya Couch, leaving the Tarrant County Jail last year, has been sent back to jail after failing a drug test. Star-Telegram archives

Tonya Couch, the mother of "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch who is accused of helping him flee to Mexico in 2015, was sent back to jail Wednesday after a failed drug test.

Couch, 50, had been free on bond while awaiting trial. It was not made public what substance she tested positive for, but conditions of her bond prohibit her from using or possessing any controlled substances, marijuana or alcohol.

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)

Couch is awaiting a May trial date on charges of money laundering and hindering the apprehension of a felon. She 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.

tonya couch (2018 mug).jpg
Tonya Couch Courtesy: Tarrant County Jail

They were both arrested a few weeks later in a Mexican resort town and returned to Texas.

Four people died and several others were injured in a 2013 drunken driving crash caused by Ethan Couch, now 20, in southern Tarrant County. He was sentenced to 10 years' probation in the case but has been jailed for violating the conditions of his probation.

He 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.

Ethan Couch is scheduled for release on April 2 once he completes his two-year sentence for violating the terms of his probation.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3

Fort Worth Police and the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office are looking for these 10 fugitives. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Call 817-469-8477.

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