Adam Hicks of Zeke and Luther fame has become an internet celebrity after informing TikTok fans that he used his time in jail to write music. Hicks’ single Chosen One, whose YouTube video features a thumbnail of Hicks being led into a cell, details Adam’s addiction and mental health problems.
The former Disney star gained fame playing Joseph Guire on How to Eat Fried Worms. In 2009, Hicks landed the lead role of Luther Waffles in Disney’s Zeke and Luther.
Most fans were surprised at Hicks’ admission that he spent nearly five years in prison. This piece explains why Hicks got incarcerated.
Hicks was imprisoned after pleading no contest to robbery charges
In 2018, Adam and his girlfriend, Danni Tamburo, committed a series of robberies in Burbank, California. The pair targeted passersby, holding them at gunpoint and robbing them. A couple of the victims were elderly women in their 70s.
Prosecutors charged Adam with robbery, second-degree robbery, and attempted second-degree robbery. Before taking a plea, Hicks was subjected to a mental health evaluation which found that Adam was incompetent to stand trial. Hicks explained in a TikTok post on 24th October 2022:
“I was flagged by multiple psychiatrists as incompetent to stand trial. The judge sent me to a hospital where they put me on medication and it helped me immensely. Once I regained my competency, I was sent to LA County to start the process again and I ultimately took a deal.”
In July 2019, Hicks pleaded not guilty to second-degree robbery and attempted second-degree robbery and no-contest to the robbery charge. Hicks signed a deal that dismissed the first two charges and sentenced him to five years for the robbery charge.
Hicks was released in March 2022 on probation after the judge factored in the 1,460 days he served before sentencing. In an interview posted on his YouTube page in late August 2022, Adam detailed why he took the deal:
“I waited almost four years until they offered the five-year deal. With all the percentages, all I would need to do is three more months, so I took that deal. I felt like I let everyone down and I deserved to go to jail. I felt like I deserved to be in jail.”
Adam felt that his actions warranted jail time regardless of his mental health issues. Hicks described the LA County jail as the most terrible place he’d been. In a subsequent video posted on 8th September 2022, Adam detailed his life in prison, saying the authorities didn’t care about the prisoners’ mental or physical health.
In hindsight, Hicks’ incarceration seemed inevitable: he’d had a couple of run-ins with the law before his robbery arrest. In 2018, he shot himself in the leg, but the case was closed due to insufficient evidence. Two months later, he was arrested following a domestic dispute.