Member of Alabama Shakes Accused of Child Abuse

Arrested drummer Steven Johnson had previously pleaded guilty to violating ex's protective order
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2021 7:37 AM CDT
Member of Alabama Shakes Accused of Child Abuse
In this Feb. 15, 2016, file photo, from left, Heath Fogg, Brittany Howard, Steve Johnson, and Zac Cockrell of Alabama Shakes pose in the press room at the Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

A member of the rock band Alabama Shakes was arrested last week and hit with child abuse charges, a year after pleading guilty to breaching a protective order from his ex-wife. The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office in Alabama confirms to Rolling Stone that drummer Steven William Johnson was arrested Wednesday and hauled off to the local jail, with his bail set at $21,500. Per the AP, Johnson, 35, has been indicted on charges of willful torture, willful abuse, and cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18. It's not clear who the child involved in the case is. There's been no comment as of yet from Johnson or the band. The drummer was arrested in September 2019 and charged with violating a protection from abuse order issued to his ex-wife after she accused him of harassing and threatening her.

At the time, reported that Johnson's ex, whom he'd been married to for three and a half years before they divorced in 2018, noted in her protection order request that he'd broken into her residence, while court records show she also said he stalked her, choked her, and otherwise injured her. "He's mad because (we're) divorced and he's mentally unstable," she wrote in her request. Johnson pleaded guilty to the charges last March and received a suspended yearlong jail sentence, plus two years of probation. The Guardian notes that the Grammy-winning Alabama Shakes went on hiatus the same year as Johnson's divorce, with member Brittany Howard branching off to take on solo projects. In 2019, Howard told Pitchfork that writing with the group had become "torturous." Johnson is set to be arraigned on April 7. (More child abuse stories.)

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