Texas prosecutors seek to revoke bond for 'affluenza' mother

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 20, 2017 7:24 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas prosecutors are seeking to revoke the bond for the mother of the Texas "affluenza" youth, saying she violated bail terms ahead of her trial on charges of aiding her son escape to Mexico, according to court documents filed on Tuesday.

The motion filed in state court in Tarrant County accused Tonya Couch of violating her drug- and drink-free bond terms by consuming alcohol.

"The State of Texas respectfully prays that this honorable court revoke the defendant's bond and order the re-arrest of the defendant," the motion filed by the prosecutors says.

A lawyer for Couch was not immediately available for comment. Prosecutors for Tarrant County, which is home to Fort Worth, said they could not comment due to a gag order in place for the proceedings.

Couch, 50, was indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury last year on charges of hindering apprehension and money laundering for aiding her son Ethan Couch violate a probation deal that kept him out for jail for killing four people while driving drunk in 2013.

If convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison.

At Ethan Couch's trial in juvenile court in 2013, a psychologist testified in his defense that the then 16-year-old was a victim of “affluenza” and unable to tell right from wrong as a result of being spoiled by his family’s wealth.

The probation deal reached in juvenile court sparked outrage from critics who ridiculed the affluenza defense and said that Ethan Couch's family's wealth had helped keep him out of jail.

Ethan Couch is currently serving a nearly two-year jail sentence as a condition of his new probation terms as an adult. His case was transferred from the juvenile to adult supervisory system on his 19th birthday in April 2016.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Marice Richter in Dallas; Editing by Leslie Adler)