Judge to Tonya Couch: 'Use common sense'

Judge: No jail time for Tonya Couch

FORT WORTH - It was a strong admonishment from Judge Wayne Salvant, directly issued to Tonya Couch.

"I think sometimes you use bad judgment," Salvant said. "There are places you just should not be."

"I want you to use common sense in everything that you do," he added. 

The mother of so-called "affluenza teen" Ethan Couch was in court Thursday, facing her own legal issues. She's awaiting trial for allegedly helping her son escape to Mexico. The state alleged Thursday that Couch had recently violated her bond conditions on two separate instances, and they wanted her bond revoked.

Alys Dill testified that back in May, she saw Tonya Couch take a sip of beer at the Eagles Nest Sports Bar in North Fort Worth, where Dill is a manager.

"You testified to Ms. Burks that you actually saw her pick it up?" Salvant asked Dill.

"One time I did, yes," Dill replied.

"And drink from it?" he followed up.

"Yes sir," she responded.

"And you believe it was beer?" Salvant said.

Yes, sir, in the glass it was in," Dill said.

And it was at the Will Rogers Memorial Center that another witness, who happens to be a Johnson County commissioner, said he too saw Tonya Couch violate her bond conditions.

"I recognized her immediately," testified Jerry Stringer, who also has a side business making custom ear plugs for people who go shooting.

He said he was at a gun show at the facility in Fort Worth last weekend and saw Tonya holding a firearm.

"That’s when I noticed she had a rifle on her shoulder," he said.

Despite the testimony, Judge Salvant declined to revoke Tonya's bond and put her in jail. Instead, he slightly enhanced her bond conditions and warned her to make better decisions.

"The eyes of Texas are looking upon you. You understand that?" Salvant said to Tonya, who nodded in response.

Tonya left court Thursday without addressing the allegations. There's a gag order in this case.

MADD, who has been outspoken on the Ethan Couch case, did not have a response to Tonya's court dealings. Ethan Couch is currently in jail after being captured in Mexico. He'd been serving probation for killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck in 2013.

© 2017 WFAA-TV


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