'Affluenza' mom returns to Texas and booked into jail

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Mother of 'Affluenza' Teen Arrives Back in Texas to Face Charges: Live TV

The mother of a Texas teenager, derided for a defense of "affluenza" in his trial for killing four people while driving drunk, was flown on Thursday to Texas from California and charged with helping her son escape to Mexico after he was suspected of violating probation.

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Tonya Couch, 48, could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted in Tarrant County on a third-degree felony charge of helping her son Ethan flee after he was suspected of violating a probation deal that kept him out of prison.

During his trial for the 2013 accident, a psychologist testified on Couch's behalf that he had "affluenza," meaning he had lost the ability to recognize right from wrong after being spoiled by his wealthy family. The diagnosis is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and was widely ridiculed.

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Affluenza teen's mom Tonya Couch after being deported from Mexico
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'Affluenza' mom returns to Texas and booked into jail
Tonya Couch, center, the mother of a Texas teen who used an "affluenza" defense in a drunken wreck, leaves Tarrant County Jail, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. She is to be fitted with a GPS monitor before release. A judge decreased Couch's bond Monday from $1 million to $75,000. Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon after she and her son, Ethan Couch, were caught in a Mexican resort city. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Tonya Couch, center, the mother of a Texas teen who used an "affluenza" defense in a drunken wreck, leaves Tarrant County Jail, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. She is to be fitted with a GPS monitor before release. A judge decreased Couch's bond Monday from $1 million to $75,000. Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon after she and her son, Ethan Couch, were caught in a Mexican resort city. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Tonya Couch, center, the mother of a Texas teen who used an "affluenza" defense in a drunken wreck, leaves Tarrant County Jail, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas. She is to be fitted with a GPS monitor before release. A judge decreased Couch's bond Monday from $1 million to $75,000. Couch is charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon after she and her son, Ethan Couch, were caught in a Mexican resort city. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)
Tonya Couch is seen at her bond reduction hearing on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, at Criminal District Court No. 2 in Fort Worth, Texas. (David Kent/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Tonya Couch appears in court in Fort Worth, Texas, Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. The mother of Ethan Couch, who used an "affluenza" defense after killing people in a drunken-driving wreck, appeared in court on a charge of hindering the apprehension of a felon. (Rodger Mallison/Star-Telegram via AP, Pool)
Tonya Couch, mother of Ethan Couch, appears before state District Judge Wayne Salvant on Jan. 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Rodger Mallison/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Returneing to Texas from Los Angeles, Tonya Couch, mother of 'affluenza' Ethan Couch, arrives escorted by sheriff's deputies at the Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. (Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images)
Tonya Couch, right, is escorted into Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. Couch, mother of a fugitive teenager known for using an "affluenza" defense in a deadly drunken-driving case, waived extradition and was sent to Texas from California to face a charge of helping her son evade capture. (Paul Moseley/Star-Telegram via AP, Pool)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 5: Tonya Couch, 38, (L) mother of ``affluenza' teen Ethan Couch, appears in Los Angeles Superior court for an extradition hearing January 5, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. Couch faces a felony charge in Texas for allegedly helping her 18-year-old son flee the country while out on probation. (Photo by Genaro Molina/Pool/Getty Images)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is taken by authorities to a waiting car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch, center, is put into a car after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tonya Couch sits in a vehicle after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015, in Los Angeles. Authorities said she and her son, Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who was sentenced to probation after using an "affluenza" defense for a 2013 wreck in Texas, fled to Mexico together in November as prosecutors investigated whether he had violated his probation. Both were taken into custody Monday, Dec. 28, after authorities said a phone call for pizza led to their capture in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
This undated photo provided by the Jalisco state prosecutor's office shows Tonya Couch. Authorities said Texas teenager Ethan Couch, who's serving probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck after invoking an "affluenza" defense, was in custody in Mexico, weeks after he and his mother, Tonya Couch, disappeared. Tonyaand Ethan Couch were located and detained Monday, Dec. 28, in Puerto Vallarta. (Courtesy of Jalisco state prosecutor's office)
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Ethan was sentenced in Tarrant County to 10 years of drink- and drug-free probation, which critics saw as leniency because of his family's wealth.

Couch and her son left Texas after a video surfaced on social media in early December showing Ethan at an alcohol-fueled party. The video raised questions about whether he had violated his probation agreement, which was reached in juvenile court after the fatal accident.

Ethan Couch, 18, is in a Mexican immigration detention facility while he fights deportation, which could take months. His mother did not formally apply to stay in Mexico.

She was deported in late December and sent to Los Angeles where she was taken into custody. She will be held on a bond of $1 million in Tarrant County, officials said.

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Live television footage from broadcaster WFAA showed Couch being led off a plane after her trip from California and placed in a sport utility vehicle.

"She is safely and securely in the Tarrant County Jail," said Tarrant County Sheriff's spokesman Terry Grisham, adding that her attorneys had filed a motion to reduce her bond.

She is due to appear before a judge on Thursday for an arraignment hearing on the charge of hindering the apprehension of a fugitive, he said.

Ethan faces about four months in Texas custody if he is found to have violated the terms of his probation. Tarrant County prosecutors said they were looking at additional charges that could keep him in custody longer.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz and Suzannah Gonzales; Additional reporting by Marice Richter; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Alistair Bell and Bill Trott)

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