AZLE — Tonya Couch’s life has been wrapped up around decisions and the effects of alcohol for the last three years.
Now, the mother of “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch has a new job as a bartender at the Honky Tonk Woman in Azle.
Both the owner of the bar and Tonya Couch’s attorney confirmed to News 8 that she works there.
Bar owner Darrell Collins said she has been working there for about two months.
He said he doesn’t like what Tonya did but hired her because she had trouble getting a job elsewhere, and believes everyone deserves a second chance.
MORE: Stories on Ethan Couch
He also told us he cleared the job with her probation officer, she can only work certain hours and wears a GPS monitor on her ankle.
Tonya Couch’s attorney, Stephanie Patten, sent this statement to News 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."
On Tuesday morning, Patten filed new paperwork associated with Couch’s bond that allows her to no longer be under 24-hour house arrest, and also allows her to be around alcohol as long as she doesn’t consume it.
Couch, 49, is facing a third-degree felony charges of money laundering and hindering the apprehension of her son, Ethan. The pair took off to Mexico in December when Ethan was accused of violating his probation.
Ethan killed four people while driving drunk on Burleson-Retta Road in southern Tarrant County in 2013. He was just 16 at the time.
In a taped deposition from a civil suit brought by the family of one of Ethan Couch’s victims, Ethan says his mother had texted him the night of the crash, telling him not to be out drinking and driving.
Part of the teen’s defense was “affluenza," a phrase used by a psychologist witness indicating that Ethan’s parents had been so permissive during a wealthy upbringing that he didn’t know right from wrong.
He was convicted but given probation and no jail time by then juvenile Judge Jean Boyd.
But Ethan didn’t stay out of trouble.
In December of last year, a video surfaced that appeared to show Ethan at a party, where others seemed to be drinking. Questions swirled as to whether he was in violation of the terms of his probation.
Ethan and his mother soon disappeared.
They went on the run to Mexico, where Mexican officials captured them in Puerto Vallarta, and eventually deported them back to the United States.
Ethan Couch is serving a 720-day jail sentence for violating his probation.
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office said in a brief statement that, "This case is under a gag order and we are unable to comment beyond confirming we are aware of the photo."