Tim Lambesis, the frontman of American Christian metal band As I Lay Dying, has pleaded guilty to the solicitation of murder by attempting to hire a hitman to kill his estranged wife.
The singer, who appeared in Vista Superior Court, San Diego yesterday, was arrested in the city in May 2013, after officers foiled his plot to put a hit out on his former spouse.
According to reports, he gave an undercover detective posing as a hitman $1,000 in cash, as well as instructions of how to carry out the murder.
Lambesis filed for divorce from his wife Meggan – with whom he shares three adopted Ethiopian children – in 2012.
"During our conversation he told me that he had picked out three dates that were good dates for him, for me to kill his wife," the detective detailed during his testimony. "Those were the dates that he would have his children and therefore, he would not be a suspect in the case.
During their recorded conversation, the officer claimed he attempted to get Lambesis to use the words "kill" or "dead". However, he resisted.
"But he continued to say repeatedly that, I want her gone. I want her never ever, ever to come back," the detective continued.
"So, as he was leaving, we got about fifteen or twenty feet away from each other and he turned back to me and he goes, 'Just to clarify, just so you know, I do want her dead.'"
Lambesis initially pleaded ‘not guilty’ at his arraignment, and a judge set the singer’s bail at $3million. He was affixed with a GPS monitoring device, and eventually released for $2million.
The frontman's lawyers originally blamed the incident on the singer’s reliance on steroids, saying that the drug “devastatingly affected” his thought process.
After his arrest, reports detailing a letter Lambesis wrote to Meggan surfaced. In the note, he explained that he had fallen out of love with his wife and had lost his faith in God.
The singer now faces up to nine years in jail and a fine of $10,000. He is due to be formally sentenced on 2 May 2014.