The child abuse case against Alabama Shakes drummer Steve Johnson was dismissed last Thursday (December 16th). Per local CBS affiliate WHNT, Circuit Judge Matthew Huggins dismissed the case with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled.

Back in March, Johnson was arrested after being indicted on charges of “willful torture, willful abuse, and cruelly beating or otherwise willfully maltreating a child under the age of 18.” He spent 15 days in jail before being released on a $26,5000 bond.

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

The musician’s attorney Nick Lough told The Associated Press on Friday that the allegations were related to a “spanking incident and nothing more.” Lough added, “Steve Johnson maintained his innocence the entire time. He had to wait for his day in court like so many people do. Thankfully, these charges have been dismissed.”


A founding member of Alabama Shakes, Johnson played on both of their albums: 2012’s Boys & Girls and 2015’s Sound & Color. The Grammy-nominated band has been on hiatus since 2018 as singer Brittany Howard focuses on her solo career.