Tonya Couch, the mother of “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch, was released from jail on Tuesday after posting her reduced bond.
Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson announced the 48-year-old’s bond was lowered from $1 million to $75,000, CNN reports. Couch was extradited to the United States after she reportedly helped her son escape to Mexico when he skipped his December probation hearing. Before the teen fled with his mother, he was seen in a photo with other teens possibly drinking alcohol, a violation of his probation.
State District Judge Wayne Salvant ordered the mother tracked with an ankle monitor. She will live with her other son, Ethan’s half-brother Steven McWilliams, who testified that she didn’t have to funds to cover the initial $1 million bond. During McWilliams’ testimony, he claimed his mother’s bank statement read, “-99 billion.”
She will not be able to leave the home unless she has appointments with doctors or her lawyer. She will also have to take routine drug and urine tests, NBCDFW writes.
Following her son’s 2013 DUI, which took the lives of four people, the then 16-year-old avoided jail time and was granted 10 years probation thanks to his “affluenza” defense – the notion his family’s wealth prevented him from understanding the repercussions of his bad behavior. His mother is separated from Ethan’s father, who owns a large-scale metal roofing business.
Couch arrived in Texas on Thursday and was arraigned on hindering the apprehension of a felon. Her defense team is reportedly building a case that Couch cannot stand trial because she is mentally incompetent. Tarrant County Magistrate Judge Matt King issued a mental exam for Couch under the belief she might have “a mental illness or is a person with a mental retardation.”
Judge Salvant added Couch would have to reimburse the Tarrant County police for the $3,200 they spent to bring her from Los Angeles to Texas after her capture. She will also have to pay $60 towards the monitoring device every month.
Ethan Couch remains in custody in Mexico after a judge granted him a temporary stay.