Drummer for Grammy Award-winning band Alabama Shakes is arrested on child abuse charges 


Drummer for Grammy Award-winning band Alabama Shakes is arrested on child abuse charges

  • Steven Johnson was indicted on charges of willful torture, willful abuse and cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18
  • Johnson, 35, was booked March 24 at the Limestone County Jail in Athens, Alabama, west of Huntsville
  • Johnson pleaded guilty in March 2020 to violating a domestic violence protection order and received a suspended sentence of a year in jail
  • The band has been on hiatus since 2018 when lead singer Brittany Howard chose to focus on solo work 

The drummer for Grammy Award-winning rock band Alabama Shakes has been arrested on child abuse charges in Alabama.

Steven William Johnson, 35, was arrested March 24 and indicted on charges of willful torture, willful abuse and cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18.

Details of the alleged abuse were not immediately available.

Johnson was booked into the Limestone County Jail in Athens, Alabama, about 34 miles west of Huntsville, Fox News reported

Johnson’s bond was set at $21,500, and county jail records said Sunday that a release date was ‘not set.’ 

Steven Johnson, 35, was arrested March 24 after he was indicted on charges of willful torture, willful abuse and cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18

Johnson, the drummer for Alabama Shakes, accepts the best American roots performance for 'Killer Diller Blues' at the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 28, 2018.

Johnson, the drummer for Alabama Shakes, accepts the best American roots performance for ‘Killer Diller Blues’ at the 60th annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 28, 2018.

It was not immediately clear if Johnson has an attorney who could comment on the charges. Managers for the band did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

An arraignment date is scheduled for April 7.

Johnson pleaded guilty in March 2020 to violating a domestic violence protection order in Limestone County. He received a suspended sentence of a year in jail, with 24 months on probation.

A judge issued the protection order in 2019 after Johnson’s ex-wife accused him of threatening and harassing her, AL.com reported.

In a written request for a protection from abuse order, the woman said Johnson broke into her home and accused him of choking, injuring and stalking her, according to court records.

The couple divorced in 2018 after about three and a half years of marriage.

‘He’s mad because (we’re) divorced and he’s mentally unstable,’ the woman wrote in the protection order request.

Alabama Shakes, from left, Heath Fogg, Brittany Howard, Steve Johnson and Zac Cockrell, at the 58th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 15, 2016

Alabama Shakes, from left, Heath Fogg, Brittany Howard, Steve Johnson and Zac Cockrell, at the 58th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 15, 2016

Drummer Steve Johnson, right, performing with Alabama Shakes

Drummer Steve Johnson, right, performing with Alabama Shakes

An Alabama Shakes performance, from an image posted on the band's Instagram account

An Alabama Shakes performance, from an image posted on the band’s Instagram account

The band, based in Athens, Alabama, has been on hiatus since 2018, when lead singer Brittany Howard decided to focus on a solo project.

The band members, who met in high school and won four Grammy awards together, have not commented on Johnson’s arrest.

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