Notorious “affluenza” mom Tonya Couch is no longer under round-the-clock house arrest. She was recently spotted at the Honky Tonk Woman Saloon, a biker bar located northwest of Fort Worth, where she now tends bar.
Tuesday, Couch’s 24-hour a day house arrest was relaxed so she could get a job although, reportedly, she has been working there for about a month, according to FOX 4. Despite a former picture of affluence, Couch, 49, needed to support herself as she awaits trial on felony charges of money laundering and hindering the apprehension of a felon, her son Ethan.
According to WFAA, she can be around alcohol but not imbibe. Bar owner Darrell Collins said he did not like what the “affluenza” mom allegedly did, but decided to hire her because she had trouble getting a job elsewhere and he believed that everyone deserves a second chance. Her probation officer approved the job. She can only work certain hours and must wear a GPS ankle monitor.
In response to this latest development, Couch’s attorney Stephanie Patten issued a statement to WFAA 8:
“Unfortunately, we are very limited in what we can say about Tonya outside of the courtroom. We will say this: Tonya is one of the few people in America where her lawful employment is news. Tonya has no assets and no other source of income outside of any job that she is able to get. She has sought and obtained other lawful employment, but because of the notoriety and intense media scrutiny surrounding her, she lost that employment. She is not in a position to be choosy about what type of lawful employment she will take. She is grateful that she has been able to find lawful employment and has not been forced to seek any government assistance.”
Authorities believe Tonya Couch helped her son Ethan flee the country after an online video surfaced of someone who looked like him at a party serving beer. Drinking alcohol was a violation of the terms of the teen’s 10-year juvenile probation sentence he served for a June 2013 drunk-driving wreck in which he killed four people and seriously injured others. At the time of the tragedy, Couch was found to have a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit for an adult. Traces of Valium also were found in his system.
At the high-profile trial, his legal defense team claimed then 16-year-old Couch was the victim of “affluenza,” an inability to distinguish right from wrong based on his “affluent” upbringing. Instead of jail time, a lenient juvenile judge gave him the probation sentence.
Late last year, Couch and son Ethan went missing, prompting an international manhunt. Weeks before they vanished, Tonya Couch allegedly withdrew $30,000 from a personal bank account. The pair were found and detained in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A protracted extradition episode followed in which Tonya Couch was deported back to Texas first. Then, a Fort Worth judge lowered her $1 million bail to $75,000 and she later bonded out of jail and into the custody of her older son, Ethan’s half-brother, Steven McWilliams.
Ethan Couch initially put up an extradition fight from Mexico City but later dropped it and returned to the Lone Star State. He now serves two years at a Fort Worth adult jail. His case transferred automatically from the juvenile to the adult court system on his 19th birthday in April.
Breitbart Texas reported:
District Judge Wayne Salvant stated Couch will be jailed on four consecutive terms, 180 days on each of the four counts of intoxication manslaughter for the four killed when Couch drove drunk in 2013, an amount of time days shy of a two year sentence.
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