'Affluenza' teen's mother jailed after failing drug test

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  June 8, 2018 at 1:55 PM
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June 8 (UPI) -- The Texas mother of a teen who cited a privileged life called "affluenza" as a defense in a manslaughter trial has been arrested for failing a drug test, officials said.

Tonya Couch, who faces charges of hindering apprehension of a felon and money laundering, was held without bond Thursday.

Authorities said she tested positive for amphetamines and methamphetamines in a urinary test. She was taken into custody at her home and booked into a detention center.

Her son Ethan Couch, now 21, pleaded guilty in juvenile court in 2015 to four counts of manslaughter for striking four pedestrians with his car. Evidence indicated he was driving at three times the state's blood alcohol limit for an adult.

The teen gained notoriety after a psychologist suggested his life of wealth and privilege limited his ability to tell right from wrong, a condition termed "affluenza." Tonya Couch faces the hindering charge because officials say she helped him flee to Mexico.

After Ethan Couch was found in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and returned to Texas, he was tried in adult court and given a 720-day jail sentence, which he completed in April.

Tonya Couch has not yet been tried had been released on bond three weeks ago. Conditions of her pre-trial release say she is confined to her home and must wear an ankle monitor and take routine drug tests.

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