'Affluenza' teen's mom out on bond, son fights extradition

FORT WORTH, Texas -- The mother of a fugitive teenager known for using an "affluenza" defence in a fatal drunken-driving wreck was released from a Texas jail on Tuesday, a day after a judge sharply reduced her $1 million bond for allegedly helping her son flee to Mexico.

See Full Article

Tonya Couch declined to speak with reporters as she was released from the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth. She must wear an electronic ankle GPS monitor and remain at the home of another son, 29-year-old Steven McWilliams, except for appointments with her doctor and lawyer.

Authorities believe she and her 18-year-old son, Ethan Couch, fled the state in November as Texas prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation in the 2013 wreck that killed four people.

Both were taken into custody last month in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta, after a call for pizza delivery tipped off authorities to their whereabouts.

Tonya Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Ethan Couch is still being held in Mexico as he fights deportation.

During Ethan Couch's trial, a defence witness said the teen was coddled into a sense of irresponsibility by his wealthy parents, a condition the expert called "affluenza." The condition is not recognized as a medical diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association, and its invocation drew widespread ridicule.

A judge on Monday lowered the mother's bond from $1 million to $75,000. In a tweet late Monday night, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said Tonya Couch had posted the bond.

Law enforcement officials said Tonya Couch, 48, and her son fled the U.S. after a video surfaced that appeared to show the teen at a party where people were drinking alcohol. If Ethan Couch also was drinking, it would violate his probation and could lead to jail time.

Law enforcement officials believe the mother and son had a going away party shortly before driving across the border in her pickup truck. They were first tracked to a resort condominium after ordering pizza. They had moved on by the time authorities arrived, but a witness directed police to an apartment in Puerto Vallarta's old town.

When they were arrested, Ethan Couch appeared to have tried to disguise himself by dying his blond hair black and his beard brown, according to investigators.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Parkland teens keep gun-control grown-ups at arm's length

    World News CTV News
    Before the shooting had even stopped, teenagers hiding at their Florida high school were talking about gun control. Within days, they had launched a crusade against gun violence -- one that will result in a nationwide series of protests Saturday. Source
  • Koreas to hold high-level talks next week to set up summit

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- The rival Koreas have agreed to hold high-level talks next week to prepare for an April summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Source
  • Trump order would ban most transgender troops from serving

    World News CTV News
    PALM BEACH, Fla. -- U.S. President Donald Trump released an order Friday night banning most transgender troops from serving in the military except under "limited circumstances," following up on his calls last year to ban transgender individuals from serving. Source
  • FBI seeks motive for fiery van crash at California air base

    World News CTV News
    ROSEVILLE, Calif. -- A 51-year-old man drove a flaming minivan loaded with propane tanks and gasoline cans through the main gate of a major Northern California Air Force base, authorities said Friday, but said the driver had no known links to terrorism. Source
  • Teen injured in Maryland school shooting dies

    World News CBC News
    A 16-year-old girl critically shot on Tuesday by a fellow student at a Maryland high school has died, authorities said. The girl, Jaelynn Willey, died late Thursday surrounded by her family, the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office said in a statement on Friday. Source
  • Calgary has run out of room to store all that snow

    Canada News CBC News
    After one of the snowiest winters Calgary in recent years, its finally happened. The city has literally run out of places to put the snow. The director of Calgary Roads, Troy McLeod, said there's pretty much no room left at the city's three snow dumps. Source
  • Dozens line up to adopt animals abandoned at Edmonton pet store

    Canada News CBC News
    Animal lovers in Edmonton lined up for hours Friday at the Edmonton Humane Society for a chance to adopt a pet from nearly 500 cats, dogs, fish, reptiles and even spiders. "We're a family that loves dogs so we thought we'd help them out," said John Grady, who with his son Jackson met the dog that will become the latest member of their family. Source
  • McGill bans bottled water from vending machines on campus

    Canada News CTV News
    Students at McGill University soon won’t be able to buy bottled water from vending machines as the university rolls out a campus-wide ban. The step, which falls in line with World Water Day, will eliminate the sale of about 85,000 water bottles each year. Source
  • No charges after Ohio deputy shoots news photographer, mistaking camera for gun

    World News CTV News
    SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- Investigators say no charges will be filed against an Ohio sheriff's deputy who shot a news photographer setting up to photograph a traffic stop. Clark County Deputy Jacob Shaw said he mistook photographer Andrew Grimm's camera for a gun when he shot him twice, once in the side and once in the shoulder, last year in New Carlisle, about 60 miles (97 kilometres) west of Columbus. Source
  • Alberta premier calls B.C. complaints about high gas prices environmental hypocrisy

    Canada News CBC News
    Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says if British Columbia wants to keep gasoline prices low it should stop opposing the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion. B.C. Premier John Horgan said Thursday he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices. Source