Connect
To Top

Texas prosecutors charge mom of ‘affluenza’ teen

Ethan Couch was wanted by US officials for violating his probation, in connection with a drunk-driving crash that killed four people in 2013. She was booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center at 1:37 a.m. and was being held with no bail, according to the sheriff’s department, which runs L.A. County’s jails.

It appears likely that Ethan Couch, the “affluenza” teen, will spend New Year’s Day – and likely a few more after that – in the custody of Mexican authorities. The charge stems from Couch purportedly helping her son flee the country to Mexico.

On Wednesday, Tonya Couch arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, where she was escorted by USA marshals while in handcuffs.

Richard Taylor is the acting U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Texas.

During their last days in Puerto Vallarta, Couch and his mother lived in a modest apartment, kept a low profile and at least once used a false name as they tried to stay under the radar, local people and neighbors said.

Ethan Couch, 18, and his mother, Tonya Couch, 48, were captured in the Mexican Pacific Coast city of Puerto Vallarta on Monday.

A Mexican immigration official confirmed that Ethan is being held at a migrant detention center in the Iztapalapa borough of Mexico City which is technically not a jail or prison.

Lawyers for Ethan Couch won a delay in his deportation based on a constitutional appeal in Mexico that could lead to a weeks-long legal process.

Ethan Couch was transported late on Wednesday from a detention facility in Guadalajara to another in Mexico City.

The official says the decision to move Couch was made because the Mexico City facility is larger and better equipped to hold someone for days or weeks.

Authorities began searching for the pair after Ethan Couch missed a mandatory appointment with his probation officer on December 10.

Prosecutors want to see Couch in an adult court, but because the alleged violation happened in the juvenile system, Couch effectively would start with a clean slate in the adult probation system. If convicted, she could face between two and 10 years in jail. The condition is not recognized as a medical diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, and the term drew widespread ridicule when it was employed.

Whether Couch’s “affluenza” claims had an impact on Boyd is unclear. Couch has been arrested on the felony charge of aiding and abetting a fugitive (her son Ethan) as he was facing a hearing for violating probation.

During the trial, a psychologist testified that Couch suffered from “affluenza” – he was the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for the boy. “What would you do to protect him?”, Stephanie Patten told the news station, arguing that the teen would be targeted in prison.

On Aug. 10, Tonya Couch sold her 3,964-square-foot house at 1719 Burleson Retta Road in Burleson, deed records show. She said there was daily name-calling, that he often grabbed her by the hair and that he once “threw her into a fireplace”.

Anderson said loved ones of the crash victims feel victimized over and over.

“[The families of the victims] have just spent another Christmas without their loved ones”, he said. “Just to have this is an added slap in the face”.

Couch’s attorneys did not immediately return calls for comment.

“A judge will probably lower that but we will seek to have conditions placed on her where she will be monitored”, Wilson said. She also kept his bed in her room and considered him to be her “protector”.

More in AmeriPublications