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Tonya Couch fails drug test 3 weeks after being released, warrant says

Court documents show the warrant was issued Thursday for Tonya Couch after a urinalysis test came back positive for amphetamine/methamphetamine.

TARRANT COUNTY -- The mother of famed "affluenza teen" Ethan Couch returns to jail -- again.

The last time WFAA saw Tonya Couch, she’d just gotten out of jail. She’d been locked up after failing a urinalysis, a violation of her bond.

Less than three weeks later, she’s back in jail again.

“With as many times as it's come up, it’s not necessarily a surprise,” said Steve Gebhardt, a Fort Worth criminal defense attorney and former Tarrant County prosecutor.

According to court documents, her urinalysis tested positive this week for amphetamine/methamphetamine. “Not knowing what it is specifically, it could be something as harmless as Adderall that she has a prescription for, or it could be something as terrible as illegal drugs, methamphetamine,” Gebhardt said.

Gebhardt and others in the legal world say any prescriptions are supposed to be filed with probation and parole officers, adding that Couch wouldn’t have gotten her bond revoked if she was theoretically taking a prescription the court knew about.

Her attorneys say they’re investigating the claim.

Tonya Couch is awaiting trial on money laundering and hindering apprehension charges. They stem from 2015, when authorities say she helped son Ethan escape to Mexico. He was on probation for killing four people in a drunken driving wreck when he was 16.

Richard Alpert, who prosecuted Ethan, said this about the latest development.

“This has just turned into a very predictable saga that I think is going to have a very predictable outcome,” he said.

It’s a strain on resources, too. “You’re talking about prosecutors' times, the court's time,” Gebhardt said. “All that is county money the taxpayers are paying for.”

And with Tonya’s trial still not on the calendar, there’s no telling how much longer this may continue.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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