'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

  • Tornadoes, flooding kill at least 10 in parts of U.S. South, Midwest [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    CANTON, Texas — Severe storms including tornadoes have swept through several small towns in East Texas, leaving a trail of overturned vehicles, mangled trees and damaged homes. Authorities believe at least four people were killed and dozens injured, though they were still assessing the damage from the storms that swept through an area about 50 miles (80 kilometres) east of Dallas on Saturday evening. Source
  • Promises on jobs, affordability at forefront of B.C. election campaign

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - There's just over a week left in British Columbia's election campaign and the leaders are out on the hustings, trying to shore up votes. Liberal Leader Christy Clark is spending the day in the southeastern part of the province, where she's repeating her party's promise to protect jobs in resource industries like forestry and mining. Source
  • NDP campaign to save ERs hits snare after someone hijacks site

    Canada News CBC News
    A campaign to save Winnipeg ERs spearheaded by Manitoba New Democrats has left the party name off signs and social media pages. But it hit a snare Saturday after someone took over a campaign website, which now links to a story about a government scandal the NDP had while in power. Source
  • Federal court dismisses VIA Rail appeal on couples with mobility scooters travelling together

    Canada News CBC News
    The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal by VIA Rail of a decision that would make it possible for a Toronto couple who rely on wheelchairs and scooters to travel together on a single train. Source
  • 'The back of her leg was kind of missing'; Woman attacked by shark in California

    World News Toronto Sun
    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A shark attacked a woman wading in the ocean with friends, tearing away part of her upper thigh off a popular Southern California beach, authorities and witnesses said Sunday. The attack occurred Saturday near San Onofre State Beach in northern San Diego County. Source
  • 'Devastated': Canadian Rangers refuse to give up on members lost in Alta. woods

    Canada News CTV News
    Three of the four hunters who went missing in the northern Alberta wilderness last weekend were members of the Fort Chipewyan Canadian Ranger Patrol. The Canadian Rangers have been identified as Walter Ladouceur, Andrew Ladouceur and Keith Marten, according to a statement from the Department of National Defence. Source
  • Sleeping Edmonton man wakes up to truck crashing through bedroom

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A 25-year-old Edmonton man snoozing on what should have been a lazy weekend morning woke to the sound of twisting metal and concrete after a truck crashed through his bedroom wall. "I woke up panicked," said Kyle Roach, noting it happened around 8 a.m. Source
  • Road to recovery: Make-A-Wish gives child with cancer RV for camping adventure

    Canada News CTV News
    A three-year-old New Brunswick girl is about to realize her dream of hitting the open road with her family on a series of unforgettable summer camping trips after a long and difficult battle with cancer. Source
  • Deadly storms in Texas kill at least 4, injure dozens

    World News CBC News
    Severe storms including tornadoes swept through several small towns in East Texas, killing at least four people and injuring dozens more, and leaving a trail of overturned vehicles, mangled trees and damaged homes, authorities said Sunday. Source
  • Swimmer injured in shark attack at Southern California beach

    World News CTV News
    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- A shark attacked a woman wading in the ocean with friends, tearing away part of her upper thigh in the ocean off a popular Southern California beach, authorities and witnesses said Sunday. Source