WEST CHESTER, Pa. – “Jackass” star Bam Margera must stand trial on charges that he punched his brother during an altercation at their home near Philadelphia, a judge ruled Thursday while ordering him to get a drug and alcohol screening to remain free on bail.
Margera, 43, has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges, which include simple assault and making terroristic threats. He has been free on $50,000 bail and said Thursday that he has been in drug and alcohol treatment this year and living with former Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom.
“I’m not trying to get him in trouble here. I just want him to get the help because I feel like this is our last chance,” Margera's brother, Jess Margera, said in testifying about what he called two decades of troubling behavior by his brother, which he said escalated during a “frightening and unpredictable” two-week visit home in April.
He said that Bam — upset on a Sunday morning after seeing a text that suggested he needed mental health treatment — struck him in the nose and ear and ruptured his eardrum. Jess Margera's girlfriend called police after Bam kicked in her bedroom door, he said.
“I don't know what we’re doing here," lawyer Michael van der Veen said. “This is a disagreement between two brothers on a Sunday morning over coffee.”
He argued that the brothers often perform such antics for the cameras. The Chester County magistrate rejected the argument, noting that no cameras were rolling at the time.
Prosecutors agreed to drop two of four counts of terroristic threats stemming from allegations that Bam Margera threatened to shoot various family members and left his brother a threatening note. Neither the brother nor prosecutors suggested that he had access to a gun.
By the end of the hearing — which was delayed for several hours by Bam Margera's delayed flight from California — both sides seemed most interested in ensuring that he remains in treatment.
“We want to make sure you're safe, secure and alive,” said Judge Albert Iacocca, who asked what had motivated him to go to treatment this year.
“To see my son Phoenix, who's 5," Bam Margera said.
Margera, who also starred in the MTV reality series “Viva La Bam,” wrote on social media after his arrest that the allegations “are not true,” and the brothers threatened to sue each other over the conflict.
“I don't care about the money,” Jess Barbera said Thursday. “My brother’s a good dude when he’s not messed up. I don't think he would hurt a fly. It's just when he's been up for days, it's scary."