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Child Abuse Charge Against Alabama Shakes Drummer Steve Johnson Dropped

Johnson’s lawyer said the charges were related to a “spanking incident”

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UPDATE (12/20): A child abuse charge against Alabama Shakes drummer Steve Johnson has been dropped, The Associated Press reports. A judge in Limestone County, Alabama dismissed the charge lat Thursday, Dec. 16. A lawyer for Johnson, Nick Lough, told the AP the charges against Johnson related to a “spanking incident.”

In a statement shared with Rolling Stone, Lough and another attorney, Marcus Helstowski, said, “Steve Johnson maintained his innocence throughout the course of this entire ordeal. Just like anyone charged with a crime, Mr. Johnson had to wait for his day in court. People are quick to make judgments and assumptions based on catchy headlines when cases like this first surface. We’re thankful that after more than a year this allegation has been put to rest and Mr. Johnson’s name has been cleared of any wrongdoing.”

Alabama Shakes drummer Steve Johnson was arrested on child abuse charges on Wednesday in Limestone County, Alabama.

Johnson faces charges of willful torture, willful abuse and cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18, the Associated Press reports. No other details regarding the alleged abuse were provided.

The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office confirms that Johnson was arrested March 24th and taken to Limestone County Jail with bail set at $21,500. The drummer is set to be arraigned on the charges on April 7th.

A representative for Alabama Shakes — which has been inactive since 2018 while singer Brittany Howard pursued her solo career — did not respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.

Johnson had previously been arrested in September 2019 for violating a protection order filed by his ex-wife, who accused the drummer of threatening, harassing, stalking and choking her following their 2018 divorce after three-and-a-half years of marriage, Huntsville, Alabama’s WHNT reported at the time.

Johnson pleaded guilty to that misdemeanor charge in March 2020, receiving a one-year suspended prison sentence and 24 months on probation.

From Rolling Stone US