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Mother of 'affluenza teen' says she is broke

Mother of 'affluenza teen' says she is broke

June 15th, 2019 in Texas News

Tonya Couch leaves a hearing before Judge Wayne Salvant on June 29, 2017, in Criminal District Court No. 2 in Fort Worth, Texas. Couch is back in jail and says she is broke.

Photo by Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

FORT WORTH, Texas—The Texas mother of the "affluenza" teen is broke and says she has not had a job because she has been "unable to get and/or keep a job due to notoriety," according to court documents she filed Wednesday.

Tonya Couch, 52, of Burleson, remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Friday without bail.

Couch—the mother of a teen who caused a drunken driving crash that killed four people and injured several others in 2013—has been in jail since April. Court documents cite a positive urinalysis drug test.

She has been in and out of jail as she awaits trial on charges related to helping her son Ethan Couch escape to Mexico in 2015.

On Wednesday, she filed an affidavit of indigency, noting the only item of value she has was a 2006 Ford F-150 valued at $1,500 to $2,000.

She listed zero in a bank account with no investment income, stocks, bonds, pension payments, child support or public assistance, according to a court document.

Tonya Couch says she is not married and no one has been living with her and she does not support anyone at home.

Tonya Couch was arrested in March 2018 when she tested positive for a prohibited substance. She posted her $75,000 bond in May 2018, but was accused of using methamphetamine and rearrested in June 2018. During a bond reduction hearing in August, a judge told Couch she couldn't use drugs and denied the lowering of her bond. New bond conditions were filed in October, but Couch was still barred from using any substances.

Couch and her son, Ethan Couch, garnered national attention after a witness at his trial said he suffered from "affluenza," meaning that his affluent upbringing and dysfunctional parents kept him from learning right from wrong.

Tonya Couch is accused of withdrawing $30,000 from a bank account and hiding with her son in Mexico after he missed a probation appointment in 2015.

Ethan Couch was sentenced to 10 years' probation in the case but had been jailed for violating the conditions of his probation.

He was released from jail in April 2018 after completing his two-year sentence for violating the terms of his probation. He was allowed to remove his GPS monitor in March of this year, but he still must comply with other conditions of his release, according to Tarrant County court documents.

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