Affidavit: Tonya Couch withdrew $30K, warned husband before fleeing to Mexico

Couch, 48, was arraigned Friday as she faces a third-degree felony charge for "hindering apprehension" of her son, "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch.
By Marilyn Malara  |  Jan. 9, 2016 at 9:49 AM
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FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Tonya Couch, mother of "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch, withdrew $30,000 and warned her husband her son was never coming back before fleeing to Mexico, according to an arrest affidavit.

Couch, 48, was arraigned Friday before Tarrant County Judge Wayne Salvant to confirm her understanding of the third-degree felony charge she is facing. Salvant ordered Couch be held on $1 million bond until a hearing Monday.

If the bond is paid, Couch will be required to adhere to strict limitations including wearing a GPS monitor.

In an arrest warrant affidavit issued Dec. 31 and released Friday, Couch was ordered to be detained for "hindering apprehension" of her son, who in early December allegedly violated probation and prompted an international search.

After investigators learned mother and son fled to Mexico, they were arrested by local authorities in a Puerto Vallarta condo on Dec. 28. The affidavit said Tonya was operating a computer at the time of her arrest.

Investigators said Couch withdrew a total of $30,000 from her personal account on Dec. 3 and warned her husband, Fred Couch, over the phone about her plans to flee to Mexico, saying he "would never see [Ethan] again."

Since the interview with authorities, Fred Couch has filed for divorce.

In 2013, Ethan Couch, 16 at the time, killed four people in a drunk driving crash. He was sentenced to 10 years of probation after defense attorneys said he was the victim of "affluenza," as a result of being spoiled by wealthy parents and not facing consequences for his actions.

Ethan Couch, now 18, remains in a migrant detention center near Mexico City and has reportedly filed motions to fight extradition to the United States.

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