Fort Worth

Tonya Couch Claims She's Indigent, Notoriety Prevents Her From Getting, Keeping a Job

Couch says she has no money because she can't hold down a job due to her notoriety

Tonya Couch, the mother of "affluenza" teen Ethan Couch, has petitioned the court for financial assistance claiming she's indigent and unable to pay for her defense because she can't hold a job due to her notoriety.

Couch, who is currently incarcerated in the Tarrant County Jail for a probation violation, said she has been unemployed for more than a year and that due to the notoriety derived from her legal entanglements she is unable to get and/or keep a job.

Couch's son Ethan made national headlines in 2013 when, at the age of 16, he killed four people while driving drunk south of Fort Worth. His attorney suggested he was a victim of "affluenza" – being so spoiled by wealthy parents that he didn't know right from wrong.

On June 12, Tonya Couch, now 52, filed an Affidavit of Indigency claiming she had no income, no financial support and that the only property she owned was a 2006 Ford truck worth approximately $2,000.

Ethan Couch Put on Flight to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Thursday

Her most recent arrest, in April, came after her third failed drug test. She has been charged with money laundering and hindering apprehension of a fugitive after she and her son Ethan fled in 2015 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, after he appeared in a video appearing to be at a party with alcohol – a violation of his probation. The pair were eventually tracked down, arrested and extradited back to North Texas.

Ethan was sentenced to probation in juvenile court but ultimately sentenced as an adult to 720 days in jail. He served nearly two years before being released on April 1, 2018. He's now serving probation, though his ankle monitor, which monitored his location and any alcohol use, was removed in March.

NBC 5's Don Peritz contributed to this report.

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