On Tuesday, Tim Lambesis, lead singer of the metalcore band As I Lay Dying, entered a guilty plea to the charge of solicitation for murder in a Vista, California courthouse, after previously denying the charge, Rolling Stone reports.
Lambesis was initially arrested in San Diego in May 2013 after allegedly handing $1000 to an undercover police officer posing as a hit man named “Red”, along with directions to his estranged wife Meggan’s home and the gate code for entry. According to the prosecutor in the case, the singer clearly confirmed to the agent that he wanted his wife dead: “Yes, that’s exactly what I want.” He also reportedly promised $20,000 in payment for the completed act.
Before Lambesis’ arrest, he had allegedly been complaining to his personal trainer that his wife of eight years was complicating the divorce proceedings, expressing concerns in her divorce filings about his ability to care for their children. When the singer allegedly expressed his desire to have her eliminated, the trainer went to police, and a sting operation was arranged.
At his initial arraignment, Lambesis pled not guilty to the charges, and was released on $2 million bail. His lawyer later stated that the singer had been using steroids as part of a body building regimen, and that the steroids had “devastatingly affected” his thought processes.
As I Lay Dying is a Grammy-nominated metalcore band whose 2012 album Awakened peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard charts. The group is known for their Christian beliefs, although Lambesis himself has suggested that he no longer subscribes to Christianity.
The singer now faces up to 9 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.