'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.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'Your son is alive'; California father buries wrong man after coroner’s mistake

    World News Toronto Sun
    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Eleven days after laying his son to rest, Frank J. Kerrigan got a call from a friend. “Your son is alive,” he said. “Bill (Shinker) put my son on the phone,” Kerrigan said. Source
  • Al Capone's song, pocket watch fetch over $100K at auction

    World News Toronto Sun
    BOSTON — Artifacts connected to some of the nation’s most notorious gangsters sold for more than $100,000 at auction Saturday. A diamond pocket watch that belonged to Al Capone and was produced in Chicago in the 1920s, along with a handwritten musical composition he wrote in Alcatraz in the 1930s, were among the items that sold at the “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen” auction. Source
  • Venezuelan protesters, security forces clash at air base

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Young protesters broke down a metal fence guarding an air base in Caracas on Saturday before being repelled by security forces firing tear gas in another day of anti-government protests in Venezuela's capital. Source
  • Venezuelan president's opponents lay siege to air base

    World News CBC News
    Young protesters broke down a metal fence guarding an air base in Caracas on Saturday before being repelled by security forces firing tear gas in another day of anti-government protests in Venezuela's capital. Demonstrators threw stones, and some protesters were injured. Source
  • Lots to be proud of on Canada's 150th

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    So this great country of ours Canada is about to turn 150. Well, happy sesquicentennial to us. Although, it was a lot easier to pronounce “centennial” 50 years ago. And what a great year that was. Bobby Gimby sang, “Canada – now we are 20 million. Source
  • Race was a factor in St. Louis black officer mistakenly shot by white cop: lawyer

    World News CTV News
    An off-duty black St. Louis police officer's race factored into him being mistakenly shot by a white officer who didn't recognize him after a shootout with black suspects this week, the wounded officer's lawyer contends. Source
  • Labatt celebrates 170 years of heritage ahead of Canada's 150th [Photos]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    If any nation knows how to quaff a cold one, it has to be Canada. Our famous brew is one of the most coveted drinks in the world. It’s part of our nationalistic identity, and we’re proud of it! Source
  • Four-year-old boy is dead after being hit by car

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    EDMONTON - Edmonton Police say a four-year-old boy died in hospital after he was hit by a vehicle on 44A Avenue near 35 Street around 8:15 p.m. on Friday. Traffic section officers are investigating, but no charges are pending. Source
  • 34 U.K. high-rises have unsafe siding: Officials

    World News Toronto Sun
    LONDON — The scope of Britain’s fire-safety crisis broadened Saturday as London officials scrambled to evacuate four public housing towers due to concerns about external cladding, fire doors and insulation around gas pipes. Hundreds of residents hastily packed their bags and sought emergency shelter, with many angry and confused about the chaotic situation. Source
  • Video of Quebec history float goes viral amid allegations of racism

    Canada News CBC News
    A float in Montreal's Fête nationale parade Saturday quickly prompted widespread rebuke online with some attendees calling it racist. The float went along St. Denis Street carrying singer Annie Villeneuve and a pianist, along with a billboard that said "Once upon a time…" in French. Source