As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis denies plotting his wife's murder

 

Heavy metal singer Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying has pleaded not guilty to plotting the attempted murder of his wife.

The Grammy-nominated musician is alleged by prosecutors to have given an envelope containing $1,000 in cash to an undercover agent with instructions on how to kill his estranged wife along with her photograph, address, security gate code and dates he would be with their children to give him an alibi.

Prosecutors made the allegation in court yesterday just moments after Lambesis, 32, pleaded not guilty to solicitation of murder. A judge set bail at $3 million (£1.95 million) under the condition he wear a GPS monitoring device, and imposed strict travel restrictions.

The court heard that during a meeting with the undercover agent on 7 May, Lambesis was recorded as saying he wanted his wife killed, Claudia Grasso, a San Diego County prosecutor, said.

The attempted murder plot is alleged to have come about after the singer told a man at his gym on 23 April and again on 24 April that he wanted his wife killed. He is alleged to have complained that she was making it difficult for him to see their children and impossible to complete their divorce, authorities said.

Defence lawyer Anthony Salerno told reporters that Lambesis did not intend to harm anybody and was apparently set up by the man at the gym.

"Law enforcement was being fed something by someone that I strongly believe was a snitch, was out to save his own skin and was trumping things up, exaggerating things," Salerno said.

The lawyer declined to address specific allegations.

Lambesis was arrested on Tuesday at a store north of San Diego. If convicted, he could face as many as nine years in prison.

In court on Thursday, Lambesis stared straight ahead from behind a glass partition while supporters packed the room.

Grasso said the singer emailed his wife while on tour in August telling her that he didn't love her anymore, expressing that he wanted to end the relationship and that he no longer believed in God. Meggan Lambesis later learned her husband was having an affair and had been involved with "a string of women," the prosecutor alleges.

Meggan Lambesis said in divorce papers filed last Autumn that her husband had fallen asleep while caring for their three children near a pool and had spent endless hours at a gym and thousands of dollars on tattoos.

The musician's wife also said in the court papers that Lambesis toured six months a year and had taken two last-minute trips in a month to see a girlfriend in Florida.

She asked the court to order an expert to examine their music-related businesses and other assets. She also submitted a tax return showing the couple grossed $233,000 (£151,000) in 2010 but did not specify an amount she was seeking for spousal support.

The couple adopted their children, aged 4, 8 and ten, from Ethiopia, and Tim Lambesis continued to see them for about ten hours a week when he was not on tour, even though the couple were no longer living together, according to court documents.

Meggan Lambesis said the couple would try private mediation to work out custody and visitation issues.

Tim Lambesis' comments about his Grammy-nominated band's latest album, Awakened, indicated he may have been struggling. The singer, who has a degree in religious studies, is known for his growled vocals and philosophical lyrics, which he has said are written from his perspective as a Christian.

The band's website says the album — released the same month his wife filed for divorce after eight years of marriage — is a "far darker, more pessimistic beast" than previous albums.

"On this record, I wasn't purposefully trying to be negative, but I think sometimes we have to be honest with some of the darker and more difficult times of our lives to get back to that positivity," Lambesis is quoted as saying.

A man who answered the phone at a number listed in the singer's name in Del Mar said the family was not commenting at this time.

As I Lay Dying formed in San Diego in 2000 and has released six albums, including 2007's An Ocean Between Us, which reached No. 8 on Billboard's charts. A single from the album, Nothing Left, was nominated for a Grammy for top metal performance.

The band, which plays in an aggressive style that features metal guitar riffs at the furious pace of hardcore punk, was scheduled to tour the country this summer.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in new film 'Serena'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Some might argue that a fleeting moment in the actor’s scintillating, silver-tongued company is worth every penny.

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth stars as master magician Stanley Crawford in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

film
Arts and Entertainment
U2 have released Songs of Innocence in partnership with Apple

musicBand have offered new record for free on iTunes
Arts and Entertainment
Brad Pitt stars in David Ayer's World War II drama Fury

film
Arts and Entertainment
Top hat: Pharrell Williams

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star as undercover cops in 22 Jump Street

film
Arts and Entertainment
David Bowie is back with fresh music after last year's hit album The Next Day

music
Arts and Entertainment
Keith Richards is publishing 'Gus and Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar', a children's book about his introduction to music

music
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris has generated £4m in royalties from the music platform

music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week