The mother of a teen who killed four people after a drunk-driving incident, and was sentenced to 10 years probation after citing his lawyers cited in the affluenza case of his medical condition as a defense, returned to Texas Thursday.
Tonya Couch faces a charge of helping her son, Ethan Couch, evade capture. News cameras show Tonya arriving at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from Los Angeles. She was later driven away in a Tarrant County Sheriff’s van from where she was taken to the Tarrant County Jail.
Lauding the coordination between his office Los Angeles authorities to return Tonya to Texas, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said at a news conference, “Other than the eyes of the world being on us, this is a normal day for us. It couldn’t have gone any smoother.”
In Ethan’s trial following the drunk-driving incident in 2013, where he killed four people, his lawyers had argued that he suffered from “affluenza.” While prosecutors called for a lengthy prison time, Ethan was sentenced to 10 years of probation.
Tonya had agreed to face charges brought against her at a court hearing earlier this week in Los Angeles. As reported by USA Today, she faces a charge of hindering apprehension of a fugitive and her bond has been set at $1 million. It is believed that she and her son, who was being sought for violating the terms of his probation, escaped from Texas.
Ethan has been detained at an immigration detention center in Mexico City. Anderson said that “it’s not a question of if he’s coming back, it’s a question of when he’s coming back.” He added, saying, “We’re not concerned at this point.” Anderson also said that Tonya was “cooperative” while being transported to jail.
Attorneys representing Tonya in the Affluenza case said in a statement that she has not done anything illegal, as reported by Yahoo News. Lawyers Stephanie K. Patten and Steve Gordon said, “While the public may not like what she did, may not agree with what she did, or may have strong feelings against what she did, make no mistake — Tonya did not violate any law of the State of Texas and she is eager to have her day in court.”