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Monday, January 18, 2021

Tonya Couch indicted on charges she helped ‘affluenza’ son flee

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – The mother of “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch has been indicted on charges accusing her of helping her son flee to Mexico.

The Tarrant County district attorney’s office said Thursday that Tonya Couch was indicted on charges of hindering apprehension of a felon and money laundering.

Attorney Don Carter said he had no comment on the indictments because he has just started representing Couch.

Authorities say Tonya Couch took $30,000 and fled to Mexico with here son in December after a video showed Ethan at what appeared to be a party with alcohol. Drinking alcohol would be a violation of his probation for a June 2013 drunken-driving wreck that left four dead and two severely injured.

The case provoked outrage after Couch was sentenced to just 10 years of probation and rehab despite admitting to several counts of intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault. (Prosecutors had recommended 20 years behind bars.)

During the sentencing hearing, Couch’s lawyers called upon a prominent psychologist, G. Dick Miller, who testified that Couch suffered from “affluenza” – a lack of personal responsibility and awareness of consequences resulting from his privileged upbringing.

Couch and his mother were apprehended in Mexico in December and brought back to Texas in January. Ethan Couch has been has been in custody since. He was transferred out of the juvenile system and into an adult jail in February. Last month a judge ordered him to serve nearly two years in jail.

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