Tonya Couch made an initial appearance in a Texas courtroom Friday on a charge of hindering the apprehension of a felon.
According Couch’s arrest warrant affidavit, she allegedly withdrew $30,000 from her bank account in December before fleeing to Mexico. Mom and son fled the country after the 18-year-old reportedly violated his probation after drinking alcohol.
The document is heavily redacted, appearing to strike out Ethan’s name and a few others.
Prior to her being deported from Mexico, Tonya and her son Ethan were believed to have fled investigations due to an alleged violation that her son had committed.
The mother and son were arrested in the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta late last month. “You can’t help but be struck by the juxtaposition of the Tamir Rice grand jury decision and [the Couch case]”, says Daniel Filler, a law professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
The judge said another hearing will take place on Monday in regards to Couch’s bail, which has been set at $1 million. Meanwhile, Ethan Couch is still in Mexico, where a judge has granted a temporary stay halting deportation proceedings. “I think we’ve been assured that it’s not a question of if he’s coming back, it’s a question of when he’s coming back”
She also told Salvant that she and Ethan’s father, Fred Couch, are still married.
Fred and Tonya Couch divorced in 2006.
Patten and Gordon went on to say that the “job” of the sheriff is to “hold press conferences” and “supervise his or her staff” and accuses Anderson of “piggybacking” on the case to gain attention for an upcoming election. However, because her attorney wasn’t present at the time, she was unable to enter a plea. “I explained to her that this is a jail, not a resort”. Couch and her attorney would like the bond to be reduced.
er attorney, Stephanie Patton, said that Tonya and the judge met in a closed-door meeting after the arraignment. “We would like to thank Anderson for taking time out of his busy day serving as this county’s chief law enforcement officer to personally escort a 5’1”, 110 pound handcuffed and leg shackled female who was guarded by at least 2 armed deputies yesterday.
Ethan Couch is still in Mexico; when he returns to the United States depends in large part on whether he decides to contest his deportation.
Ethan Couch was driving drunk and speeding near Fort Worth in June 2013 when he crashed into a disabled SUV, killing four people and injuring several others, including passengers in his pickup truck.
Killed were Breanna Mitchell, 24, of Lillian, whose vehicle had broken down; Hollie Boyles, 52, and Shelby Boyles, 21, who lived nearby and had come outside to help Mitchell; and Burleson youth minister Brian Jennings, 41, a passer-by who had also stopped to help. Ethan had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit on the night of the crash.
State District Judge Jean Boyd, who has since retired, sentenced Couch to 10 years’ probation and to intensive therapy. During his trial, a psychologist testified on Couch’s behalf that he had “affluenza”, meaning he had lost the ability to recognize right from wrong after being spoiled by his wealthy family.