September 22, 2014 | Updated at 07:50 PM EDT The Latest Entertainment & Celebrity News

Tim Lambesis 'As I Lay Dying' Frontman Pleads Not Guilty In California Murder-For-Hire Case

By Marty Graham, EnStars
on May 10, 2013 11:06 AM EDT
  • facebook
  • tweettwbox
  • pinit
  • mail
  • print
  • comment
Sign Up for Enstars' Newsletter and never miss out on our most popular stories.
  • Tim Lambesis, lead singer for the heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, looks on during his arraignment in San Diego North County court in Vista, California May 9, 2013.
  • Tim Lambesis, lead singer for the heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, looks on during his arraignment in San Diego North County court in Vista, California May 9, 2013. (Photo : Reuters)

VISTA, California (Reuters) - Heavy metal singer Tim Lambesis, the frontman for Christian rock band As I Lay Dying, pleaded not guilty on Thursday to a charge of soliciting the murder of his estranged wife.

North San Diego County Superior Court Judge Martin Staven set bail for Lambesis at $3 million. He ordered Lambesis to surrender his passport, stay away from his wife Meggan and their three children and remain in San Diego county except to meet with his attorney.

If convicted, Lambesis faces up to nine years in prison.

Lambesis, 32, was arrested at a bookstore in Oceanside, north of San Diego, on Tuesday after he tried to hire an undercover sheriff's deputy to kill Meggan Lambesis, according to Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso. Meggan Lambesis had filed for divorce in September after eight years of marriage, according to court records.

The singer gave the man he knew as 'Red' an envelope containing $1,000 in cash, photos of his wife, her address and codes to get through the security gates of her home, and a list of dates that would work well because he would have their three adopted children with him, Grasso said.

"The children would be his alibi," Grasso said at a news conference after the hearing, which was attended by more than 40 of Lambesis' friends, family and fans.

Lambesis' attorney, Anthony Salerno, said his client was set up. "If I had to hang a tag on it, I'd call it a scumbag snitch set-up," Salerno said. "Law enforcement was fed something by someone who effectively orchestrated the whole thing ... He did not intend to harm anybody."

Lambesis sent his wife an email in August while he was on tour, telling her he no longer loved her or believed in God, Grasso said. His wife also found he was having an affair and "there had been a string of other women," she said.

The prosecutor said Lambesis asked an acquaintance from his gym if he could find someone to kill his wife.

The gym friend arranged for him to meet with an undercover Sheriff's Department detective on Tuesday, to whom Lambesis gave the envelope of cash and information, Grasso said.

Salerno said he believed Lambesis did not want to harm his wife and had never done so in the past, noting the singer has no history of domestic violence or any arrests.

"Tim was mostly disappointed that it was going the way it was, he didn't feel it was good for his children," Salerno said. "The rest, I think will come out, that he was set up."

He also told the court that the restrictions on Lambesis to stay in San Diego County will affect the band's ability to tour and earn a living.

"The band has a tour scheduled," Salerno told the judge. "There's many people who depend on him. If he can't go that would be to the detriment of many, many people."

Lambesis is due to return to court for a preliminary hearing on July 10. 

© 2014 Enstarz, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Featured Video : Angie Martinez Leaves Hot97 to Join Power 105.1, Chelsea Handler's New Show with Netflix, and Lupita on Vogue in New Entertainment Buzz!
  • facebook
  • tweettwbox
  • pinit
  • mail
  • print
  • comment
Sign Up for our email newsletters

Around The Web

  • Email Newsletter

Featured Videos

Latest News

CelebritiesSeptember 22 05:30 PM

Drew Chadwick Gets Classy & Sunburnt On Twitter

CelebritiesSeptember 22 04:43 PM

The Drums Dish On New Album, Former Bandmates & More

CelebritiesSeptember 22 02:33 PM

Katrina Kaif Tries To Avoid An 'Oops Moment?'

Real Time Analytics