Alabama Shakes drummer Steve Johnson has been released on bail following child abuse charges.
Last month a grand jury indicted Johnson on charges of ‘wilful torture, wilful abuse, and cruelly beating or otherwise wilfully maltreating a child under the age of 18’.
According to reports, the March 24 indictment listed no particulars about the charge beyond the criminal statute definition.
The musician’s lawyer denies all charges, previously telling Associated Press: ‘Steve Johnson maintains his innocence on all of these allegations. And that’s what they are, allegations.’
Following his arrest, the 35-year-old musician for the Grammy award-winning band was taken to Limestone County Jail in Alabama, with his bond set at $26,500 (£19k).
He was released following an arraignment on Wednesday after fronting up money for his bail, according to local press.
Speaking about his client’s release on bail, Nick Lough said, according to local news outlet WAAY: ‘This just came out of the blue and took everybody by surprise.
‘It took him by surprise, it took us by surprise and we immediately tried to take action on it and he’s been sitting in jail for 15 days unable to get out ever since. This is a great day for Steven Johnson.’
AP reports his attorneys have filed a court motion seeking more information about the accusation while Lough said they have reason to believe the charge may involve what he described as a ‘spanking’ incident.
The drummer previously pleaded guilty in March 2020 after a 2019 arrest for violating a domestic violence protection order in Limestone County. The order was filed by his ex-wife, who accused Johnson of threatening, harassment, stalking and choking her in 2018, when they divorced after three and a half years of marriage. He received a one-year suspended prison sentence and 24 months on probation.
Alabama Shakes went on hiatus in 2018 following their last album Sound and Color, released in 2015, with lead singer Brittany Howard deciding to focus on her solo project.
Johnson’s trial is set for May 19.