Poor Tonya Couch.
The mother of teen Ethan Couch, who successfully used an “affluenza” defense after killing four people in a wreck caused by his drunken driving, is reportedly upset because the jail cell she is currently housed in simply does not live up to her own lofty standards.
It seems as though Tonya Couch, who has been described as “a woman of means” by Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, is stunned and disappointed by the condition of her current housing situation.
Sheriff Anderson reported that he responded to Tonya Couch’s complaints about her less-than-luxurious cell by reminding her that she happens to be staying at a jail, “not a resort.”
Couch is currently in jail because she helped her son flee the country, aiding him while hiding him in Mexico. The wealthy pair fled after a video showing her son Ethan at a party with drugs and alcohol, which clearly violated the terms of his parole.
Ethan Couch was arrested and brought to trial for four separate counts of intoxication manslaughter. On June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas, Couch was driving illegally on a restricted license, while drunk, and speeding. He lost control and plowed into a group of people standing near a disabled vehicle, and then struck a parked car that was nearby to assist those in the disabled vehicle. A total of four people were killed in the collision that was a direct result of Couch’s drunken driving. Two passengers in Couch’s truck also suffered serious bodily injury, and a total of nine people were injured in the accident, in addition to the four tragic deaths.
But in a shocking move, Couch’s attorneys argued that Ethan was suffering from “affluenza” — the inability to “understand the consequences of one’s own actions because of financial privilege.” And, even more surprising, Judge Jean Hudson Boyd seemed to buy the theory that Ethan’s luxurious upbringing him blinded him to boundaries and stripped him of his ability to recognize the consequences of his own actions, and sentenced the wealthy teen to 10 years of probation, as well as therapy at a long-term, inpatient facility. The sentence, for many, did not reflect the seriousness of Couch’s crimes — four people had died as a direct cause of his reckless choices and letting him off with mere probation, to many, seemed to reinforce Ethan’s “affluenza,” as an example that there are simply different standards and consequences for those who are wealthy. In fact, Couch’s sentence set off what the New York Times called “an emotional, angry debate that has stretched far beyond the North Texas suburbs.”
And then, in fear of being brought forward on probation violations, Ethan and his mother fled to Mexico in December, but were caught later that month after one of them used their own cellphones to order a pizza to be delivered to the condo (presumably much more luxurious than a jail cell), located in Puerto Vallarta. U.S. Marshalls quickly tracked the call and then notified Mexican authorities of the pair’s location, where they were apprehended.
Even when caught and arrested by Mexican immigration officials, Ethan and Tonya Couch continued to try and avoid consequences by filing what is called a “writ of Amparo,” which is the legal equivalent of a writ of habeas corpus. It was a last-ditch effort to avoid being deported back to Texas.
Ethan Couch still remains in Mexico, but his mom was deported and now, apparently, is not just in jail, but in a jail cell which simply does not live up to her posh expectations.
It certainly sounds as if in living in close contact with her son, Tonya Couch may have caught a raging case of affluenza herself. Maybe some time in a jail cell could work as a type of vaccine for that.
What do you think?
[Photo by Rodger Mallison/Star-Telegram via AP Images, Pool]