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Why Did Adam Hicks Go to Prison?

Adam Hicks is an actor and rapper who was a rising star on the Disney Channel in the early 2010s. However, in recent years, Hicks has faced legal troubles that have derailed his entertainment career and landed him in prison.

Background on Adam Hicks

Adam Hicks was born in November 1992 in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a child, he showed early talent as a dancer and actor. In the mid-2000s, Hicks moved to Los Angeles with his family so he could pursue acting opportunities.

Hicks landed small roles in shows like Titans and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody before getting his big break in 2007. He was cast as a lead character, Luther, on the Disney XD show Zeke and Luther. The show was a hit and ran for three seasons until 2012. During this time, Hicks also began establishing himself as a rapper, releasing several singles and collaborating with other Disney stars.

After Zeke and Luther ended, Hicks worked on projects with Disney Channel and Nickelodeon while continuing to record music. He seemed poised for a successful career as an all-around entertainer. However, things took a turn in 2018 when Hicks was arrested in connection with an armed robbery.

The Armed Robbery

On January 25, 2018, Adam Hicks was arrested in Burbank, California on suspicion of armed robbery. Police alleged that earlier that morning, Hicks had committed three armed robberies along with another man, Danni Tamburo.

The first robbery targeted a 52-year-old man who was walking on the street around 5:15 AM. The suspects pointed a gun at the man and demanded his wallet before fleeing. About 15 minutes later, they robbed a woman at gunpoint and stole her purse. The third robbery occurred around 5:45 AM when the suspects approached a man getting out of his car. They demanded his wallet at gunpoint but fled when the man ran away.

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Shortly after the robberies, Burbank police officers stopped Hicks and Tamburo in a vehicle matching the description of the getaway car. Officers found several stolen items from the victims inside the vehicle. Both Hicks and Tamburo were arrested on suspicion of armed robbery.

Legal Proceedings

Hicks was charged with three counts of armed robbery with sentencing enhancements for using a firearm. Tamburo was also charged for his alleged involvement.

In April 2019, Hicks agreed to a plea deal in which he pleaded no contest to the charges. As part of the deal, prosecutors dropped the firearm enhancements which could have added additional mandatory prison time.

That June, Hicks was sentenced to one year in county jail and five years of formal probation. The judge cited Hicks’ lack of a prior criminal record as a reason for the light sentence compared to the maximum eleven year prison term he could have faced.

However, just a few months into his probation, Hicks was arrested again in December 2019 for allegedly robbing a man at gunpoint in Burbank. Due to the new felony charges, prosecutors moved to revoke Hicks’ probation from the previous case.

This time, Hicks did not cut another plea deal and decided to take his case to trial. In October 2021, a jury found Hicks guilty on all charges related to the second robbery.

With his probation revoked, the judge sentenced Hicks to serve the remainder of his suspended five year prison term from the original case. Additionally, he received a consecutive eight year sentence for the new robbery conviction. In total, Hicks was sentenced to twelve years and eight months in state prison.

Reasons for His Downfall

Adam Hicks appeared to have a bright future ahead of him as he rose to fame as a Disney Channel star. But in the span of just a couple years, his life took a dramatic turn and he ended up behind bars. What led to this unfortunate outcome?

Difficulty Transitioning After Child Stardom

Hicks had spent much of his childhood and teen years working as an actor. But as he entered his 20s and started to age out of typical Disney Channel roles, he struggled to maintain the same level of fame. His rap career also failed to take off in a big way. This difficulty adjusting to adulthood after early success as a child star may have contributed to the decisions he made.

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Negative Influences

Reports indicated that Hicks had gotten involved with gang members and other criminals in LA. His friend and accomplice Tamburo was an alleged gang member. Hicks may have been led down the wrong path by associating with people linked to criminal activity. The allure of ‘easy money’ from robbery likely also played a part.

Prior Drug Abuse Issues

Hicks had reportedly gone to rehab previously for issues with Xanax and methamphetamine. Although he had completed rehab by the time of his crimes, lingering effects from substance abuse may have impaired his judgment.

Financial Issues

For many former child stars, the big paychecks stop coming in after their initial fame dries up. Hicks does not appear to have properly managed his Disney earnings. By his early 20s, he may have been motivated to rob simply to get cash.

While Hicks undoubtedly made poor choices of his own volition, it’s likely that multiple factors led him down the path that resulted in his criminal convictions. His story remains a cautionary tale for other young stars.

Adam Hicks Today

As of late 2022, Adam Hicks remains incarcerated at a state prison in Los Angeles County. He will not be eligible for parole until 2031 at the earliest, when he is 39 years old.

Given his young age and potential for rehabilitation, Hicks still has hope to turn his life around after serving his sentence. But for now, his once bright entertainment career is firmly on hold while he does his time.

The fall of Adam Hicks illustrates how quick and unexpected the downfalls of child stars can be when they lose their way. Hopefully Hicks will take the time in prison to reflect on what went wrong and work to better himself. If he does, he may still have a chance to get back on track and achieve success in entertainment or other fields after his release.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Adam Hicks’ Crimes

Why did Adam Hicks commit armed robbery?

It seems that Hicks committed armed robbery mainly out of greed and a desire for quick cash. His career was stalling after early success, and he may have sought an illegal way to maintain a high-rolling lifestyle. Negative influences and poor judgment due to past substance abuse also likely contributed.

What did Adam Hicks steal in the robberies?

According to police reports, Hicks stole personal items like wallets, cash, credit cards, and cell phones from the three victims in the January 2018 robberies. The total value of items stolen was estimated to be around $3,600.

Did Adam Hicks use a real gun for the robberies?

Yes, police recovered a firearm they believe was used in the robberies. It was a modified Glock 26 9mm semi-automatic handgun.

Was anyone hurt during Adam Hicks’ robberies?

Fortunately, no one was physically harmed in the robberies. The victims were approached at gunpoint and threatened, but no shots were fired. Still, the armed robberies were dangerous crimes that terrified the victims.

How much prison time did Adam Hicks receive?

In total for both cases, Hicks was sentenced to 12 years and 8 months in California state prison. He will have to serve about 85% of that sentence before being eligible for parole.


The promising career and life of a former child star came crashing down when Adam Hicks resorted to armed robbery as a quick source of money and fame. Multiple factors likely led him down this misguided path that ended with serious criminal penalties. While Hicks still has a chance to start over after prison, his convictions serve as a warning that there are consequences for dangerous crimes. The fallout of Hicks’ choices will affect him well into adulthood. Hopefully his full story will dissuade other young stars from making similar mistakes. Only time will tell if Hicks can turn his life around once he has served his debts to society.

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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