- Larry Aydlette Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The wife of a founding member of the legendary Allman Brothers Band is currently serving 30 days in jail after doing rehab in West Palm Beach, according to a report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
Donna Betts, 62, the wife of guitarist Dickey Betts, went to jail on Oct. 3 after an incident in March in which she aimed a rifle at members of a Sarasota rowing team. According to the paper, she pleaded no contest on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill.
She had originally been charged with 18 counts of aggravated assault, after she was charged with pointing her rifle at rowing team members, including teens, from the dock of her home, the paper reported.
The report also said that she entered the Hanley Center, a substance abuse treatment facility in West Palm Beach, in July. She was ordered by the court to undergo 90 days of treatment.
Dickey Betts, 73, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist who wrote the band’s signature classics “Ramblin’ Man,” “Jessica,” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” was born in West Palm Beach. Betts was ordered out of the the band, reportedly because of substance abuse problems, in 2000. He toured for several years after that as a solo act with his band, Great Southern and has long been a west coast resident.
The Herald-Tribune story said there have been other reported incidents at the Betts’ waterfront property in Sarasota, including guns being fired and electric guitars being played too loud.
It’s been a rough year for fans of the Allman Brothers, which formed in 1969 in Jacksonville and became one of the greatest of all Southern rock bands. The band has been shadowed by tragedy, including the early deaths of band members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley.
And in January, Allmans drummer Butch Trucks committed suicide at his Flagler Drive home in West Palm Beach. In May, frontman Gregg Allman died at the age of 69 after battling illnesses.