Sheriff: Tonya Couch, Mother of 'Affluenza' Teen, Complained About Subpar Jail Accommodations

Illustration for article titled Sheriff: Tonya Couch, Mother of 'Affluenza' Teen, Complained About Subpar Jail Accommodations

Tonya Couch, the mother of “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch, was brought back to Texas Thursday after going on the lam in Mexico with her kid and getting caught for ordering shitty pizza. Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said Friday he was forced to tell her jail was “not a resort” after she complained about being unable to sleep.


Ethan Couch, to recap, killed four people in a drunken collision, received no jail time, violated his probation, then fled to Puerto Vallarta with his mother. After a bit of legal stalling, he remains incarcerated in Mexico, while Tonya Couch waived extradition and was brought back to the United States this week. She is being charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon, which is a felony; she was arraigned Friday morning but didn’t enter a plea.

Sheriff Anderson told assembled reporters before the hearing that Couch complained she didn’t sleep well at the jail.

Nothing about that sounds surprising in the least. On Facebook this week, Sheriff Anderson wrote a long note apologizing for all the “time, energy and taxpayer money” taken to capture and semi-prosecute the Couches, and making clear he’s fed up with the “never-ending saga” of this horrible family:

I’ve had the satisfaction of saying “I told you so” after two years ago predicting that the criminal justice system had not seen the last of Ethan Couch. For someone to have done something as horrible as he did to never show one moment of sorrow, regret or shame for what he did to four innocent people and their families, was a very good predictor of things to come. When the court system failed the victims so badly, I knew it would only encourage his bad behavior and lack of respect for the law. His family, whose only mission was to make sure Ethan was not in any way held responsible for his horrific crime, gave me another huge clue as to what would eventually happen. He would continue his life unscathed and unchanged until, not if but until, he was caught again. My only surprise was it took two years and didn’t happen sooner.


Couch’s bond was set at $1 million, although her attorneys are requesting a bond reduction, which will be decided at a hearing later today. She’ll have to wear an ankle monitor if she does make bail. Her passport is also being confiscated.

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Tonya Couch being arraigned in Tarrant County, Friday, January 8, 2016. Photo via AP Images



Honestly, she shouldn’t even have bond. I’m all for giving reasonable bail/bond to people. Even releasing them without cash bail or bond. But there are two criteria for remanding someone: (1) danger to the community and (2) flight risk.

Considering she fled out of the country before, she’s about the largest flight risk possible.