Ethan Couch's mother worries for his safety in jail

For the first time, the mother of drunk driving killer Ethan Couch is talking on camera.

Tonya Couch reached out to FOX 4, not to apologize to the victims, but because she's worried about her son, Ethan, who remains in jail.

Tonya made it clear a gag order by the court prevents her from talking about her criminal case or her son's deadly drunk driving accident.

The concerned mother says it was a call from Ethan in the middle of the night that led her to contact FOX 4.

“A frantic call,” she explained. “Mom, find out what’s going on.”

Ethan had been moved to a different part of the jail. He's serving nearly two years for killing four people in a drunk-driving crash in 2013.

Ethan’s trial got national attention for the affluenza defense claim that he was spoiled by his parents and did not understand consequences. His mother's protective nature is still evident today.

"I'm very concerned about his wellbeing: mentally and physically,” Tonya said.

An official for the sheriff's office says Ethan was moved because he had a conflict with another inmate.

"Everybody there knows him,” Tonya said. “Especially if somebody new comes in, it starts all over for him."

The case stunned and angered people around the world when Ethan got 10 years of probation in juvenile court. A video then surfaced that appeared to show him at a party and a game of beer pong. Next, he skipped a meeting with his probation officer.

Tonya had run away with her son to Mexico. They were caught and both ended up in jail. Tonya says she has no regrets about trying to protect her son then and now.

“That's always been what this is about, I guess,” she admitted.

Tonya is waiting for her trial on money laundering and hindering the apprehension of a felon. She wouldn't talk about the criminal cases against her or her son, but we did ask if she understands the gravity of her son's crimes against the four victims.

"As hard as we try to make things okay, we can't,” she said. “It's just a struggle every day. Every day.”

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