‘Affluenza Mom’ Tonya Couch Extradited to Texas

By
Affluenza' Teen Wanted by U.S. Marshals
"Bye, Mom!" Photo: Handout/2015 U.S. Marshals

Tonya Couch, the mother of “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch, is in a Texas jail tonight after allegedly helping her fugitive son skip probation and flee to Mexico, CNN reports.

Couch’s son Ethan killed four people while drunk driving at the age of 16 in 2013 and avoided serving time after his lawyers argued that he suffered from “affluenza” and was unable to tell right from wrong on account of his dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy parents.

A “directive to apprehend,” the juvenile-justice equivalent of an arrest warrant, was issued for Couch in December after he failed to check in with his probation officer and neither he nor his mother could be reached for several days.

The fugitive teen and mother were tracked to Mexico and detained by police there in late December. Tonya Couch was returned to the U.S. last week and had been in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department until a judge there approved her extradition to Tarrant County, Texas, where she is wanted on a charge of hindering the apprehension of a felon. Her lawyer claims she violated no laws.

Ethan Couch remains in Mexico, where he may choose to contest his deportation; a judge granted him a stay last week that halted the deportation proceedings.

A video purporting to show Couch playing beer pong — a violation of his probation order, which required him to stay away from alcohol — had appeared online shortly before his disappearing act; authorities have been investigating the video but say it is not sufficient evidence to prove that Couch violated his probation.

‘Affluenza Mom’ Back in Texas to Face Trial