Affluenza Teen's Mom Suffers Brokefluenza: Son

Tonya Couch to be released Tuesday after posting bond
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2016 7:30 AM CST
Affluenza Teen's Mom Suffers Brokefluenza: Son
Tonya Couch's son Steven McWilliams testifies at Couch's bond reduction hearing Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.   (David Kent/Star-Telegram via AP, Pool)

Tonya Couch, mom to "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch, will likely be released from jail in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday after posting bond. A Tarrant County judge reduced her bond from $1 million to $75,000 on Monday after hearing that the government has frozen Couch's bank account, leaving her essentially broke, reports NBC 5. Her 29-year-old son Steven McWilliams testified that Couch's account balance read "-$99 billion." When asked who was paying Couch's legal bills, McWilliams answered "me, so far," per NBC News. Couch will be fitted with an ankle monitor and not be allowed to leave the home of McWilliams and his family, reports CNN. Her doctor and lawyer are allowed to visit.

Still, a sheriff fears Couch could try to flee again. "That's always a concern you're going to have when somebody has already fled one time," he says. "I hope the restrictions put in place will be sufficient." Judge Wayne Salvant said Couch's charge of hindering apprehension of a felon, a third-degree felony, didn't warrant a $1 million bond; the charge usually carries a bond of around $10,000, though prosecutors said Couch is a "proven flight risk." Couch's attorney says she'll plead not guilty, though a judge has ordered she undergo a mental exam to determine if she is fit to stand trial. The judge on Friday said there is "reasonable cause" to believe Couch suffers from "a mental illness or is a person with a mental retardation." (MADD, meanwhile, wants Ethan Couch's case sent to adult court.)

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