Tim Lambesis, the lead singer of the Christian hard rock band (now ironically named) As I Lay Dying, is charged with hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife. The rocker allegedly handed a manilla envelope with his wife’s name, photo, security code to her condo complex, description of her vehicle, and $1,000 cash to a would-be hitman who turned out to be an undercover cop. Lambesis was in the midst of a contentious divorce and a self-proclaimed crisis of faith, but Lambesis’ lawyer blames his erratic behavior on excessive steroid use.
Tim Lambesis is charged with solicitation of murder in violation of Cal. Pen. Code § 653f(b). If convicted he can serve up to 9-years in State Prison.
Cal. Pen. Code § 653f(b).
(a) Every person who, with the intent that the crime be committed, solicits another to offer, accept, or join in the offer or acceptance of a bribe, or to commit or join in the commission of carjacking, robbery, burglary, grand theft, receiving stolen property, extortion, perjury, subornation of perjury, forgery, kidnapping, arson or assault with a deadly weapon or instrument or by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury, or, by the use of force or a threat of force, to prevent or dissuade any person who is or may become a witness from attending upon, or testifying at, any trial, proceeding, or inquiry authorized by law, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or the amount which could have been assessed for commission of the offense itself, whichever is greater, or by both the fine and imprisonment.
(b) Every person who, with the intent that the crime be committed, solicits another to commit or join in the commission of murder shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for three, six, or nine years.
(c) Every person who, with the intent that the crime be committed, solicits another to commit rape by force or violence, sodomy by force or violence, oral copulation by force or violence, or any violation of Section 264.1, 288, or 289, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years.
(d) Every person who, with the intent that the crime be committed, solicits another to commit an offense specified in Section 11352, 11379, 11379.5, 11379.6, or 11391 of the Health and Safety Code shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months. Every person, who, having been convicted of soliciting another to commit an offense specified in this subdivision, is subsequently convicted of the proscribed solicitation, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison.
This subdivision does not apply where the term of imprisonment imposed under other provisions of law would result in a longer term of imprisonment.
(e) Every person who, with the intent that the crime be committed, solicits another to commit an offense specified in Section 14014 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not exceeding six months. Every person who, having been convicted of soliciting another to commit an offense specified in this subdivision, is subsequently convicted of the proscribed solicitation, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or in the state prison.
(f) An offense charged in violation of subdivision (a), (b), or (c) shall be proven by the testimony of two witnesses, or of one witness and corroborating circumstances. An offense charged in violation of subdivision (d) or (e) shall be proven by the testimony of one witness and corroborating circumstances.
The band name As I lay Dying takes on new meaning as Tim Lambesis, the 32-year-old lead singer of the self-described Christian metalcore band, is accused of paying $1,000 to hire a hitman to kill his estranged wife, Meggan Lambesis.
The rocker, known for his hardcore screaming vocals, was arrested after he reportedly gave an undercover agent $1,000 cash in an envelope with instructions on how to kill his wife. The envelope also contained her photograph, address and security gate code, as well as dates he would be with their three adopted children to give him an alibi, according to a prosecutor.
Authorities set up a sting when Lambesis told a man at his gym on April 23rd that his wife was making it difficult for him to see their children and complete their divorce, and he wanted her killed.
Lambesis met the undercover agent, who went by the alias “Red,” on May 7th, during which there is a recording of Lambesis saying he wanted his wife killed. Lambesis was arrested in Oceanside, CA on May 14.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Kearney ruled at a preliminary hearing, September 16, that there was sufficient evidence for Lambesis to stand trial and scheduled his arraignment for October 22.
During the preliminary hearing San Diego County sheriff’s Officer Howard Bradley, aka the purported hitman “Red”, testified that Lambesis met him at a bookstore in May in Oceanside and told him he wanted his wife “gone.”
Bradley told the court that Lambesis was upset about losing access to his children and potentially losing a significant amount of income in the divorce. According to Bradley, at the conclusion of their meeting the singer handed him the manilla envelope and said directly: “just to clarify, just so you know, I do want her dead.”
The final payment was reportedly agreed upon at $20,000, and once the price was settled, police officers entered and arrested Lambesis.
During a bail hearing on May 17th, the singer’s lawyer Thomas Warwick Jr. claimed that Lambesis was mentally unstable due to steroid use and was not in the right mind when he met with the undercover agent.
Lambesis had many supporters in the courtroom during his bail hearing, from band members to other parents and even a Little League Coach.
Meggan Lambesis learned her husband was having an affair after she received an email from the singer while he was on tour in August 2012, stating that he didn’t love her and no longer believed in God.
San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso asked Superior Court Judge Martin Staven to set bail at $20 million, claiming that Meggan was living “in seclusion” with their children and terrified that her husband is substantially motivated to kill her.
Defense attorney Thomas Warwick Jr. successfully argued the bail down to $2 million. Lambesis paid a $160,000 fee to a bondsman, and he obtained his liberty on May 30, 2013, after 24 days in custody. The terms of his bail will remain the same until his arraignment October 22.
Lambesis is currently prohibited from leaving the San Diego area unless it is to see his attorney in Los Angeles. He is also forbidden from contacting his wife and children.
Although Lambesis toured around six months a year, according to Meggan, he saw his three children for about 10 hours a week when he was home.
Defense attorney Anthony Salerno insists that Lambesis did not intend to harm anybody and that he was set up by a snitch who was exaggerating and stirring things up.
The lawyer declined to address specific allegations, yet if convicted, Lambesis could face up to nine years in prison.
As I Lay Dying had planned for a 30-city U.S. tour that was set to begin May 30th in Oklahoma City. Unless Lambesis can get permission from the judge to travel, the tour is unlikely.
Update: Tim Lambesis pleaded guilty Feb. 25, 2014, to solicitation of murder for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his wife. He was sentenced May 16, 2014, to six years in prison with 48 days credit for time already served. Lambesis faced a maximum of nine years.
Tim Lambesis – Lead singer of the Christian metalcore band As I Lay Dying which he formed with drummer Jordan Mancino in 2001. He was charged with hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife. According to his attorney, he was mentally unstable because of steroid use. The band As I Lay Dying has released “six studio albums,” the last in September 2012. Tim and Meggan Lambesis were married for eight-years and have three adopted children. Lambesis pleaded guilty Feb. 25, 2014, to solicitation of murder for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his wife. He was sentenced May 16, 2014, to six years in prison with 48 days credit for time already served. Lambesis faced a maximum of nine years.
Meggan Lambesis – Estranged wife of As I Lay Dying lead singer Tim Lambesis. She filed for divorce in September 2012 after learning that her husband was cheating on her. Tim Lambesis plead guilty to hiring a hitman to murder her. At his sentencing she asked for a lifetime restraining order and read from a prepared statement in which she claimed her life “felt as fragile as a piece of paper that could float away at any moment.” .
San Diego County Sheriff’s Officer Howard Badley aka “Red” – The undercover agent who met with Lambesis as part of a sting operation and accepted the envelope of cash and incriminating information purportedly to kill Meggan Lambesis.
Thomas Warwick Jr. – Defense attorney for Tim Lambesis.
Anthony V. Salerno – Defense attorney for Tim Lambesis.
Claudia Grasso – San Diego County Deputy District Attorney.
Judge Martin Staven – Superior Court Judge that presided over the bail hearing May 17.
Judge Robert Kearney – San Diego Superior Court judge that presided over the preliminary hearing September 16.
Christian Heavy Metal Singer Tim Lambesis Allegedly Hired A Hitman
The root of any contract killing case is not the murder, but in fact the contract itself. So while it might seem strange that Lambesis is charged with the murder of a woman who is not actually dead, this is actually first-year law school stuff: Crime is about intent.
Did Lambesis intend to have his wife killed? Well, if the recording in the law enforcement sting operation says what prosecutors say it does, Lambesis certainly did intend to hire someone to kill her.
That tape, by the way, is the prosecution’s whole case. Everything else is speculation and circumstantial – the crumbling marriage, the affair. People have affairs all the time. Marriages fail. Custody battles wage. Very few of those people go on to hire a gunman to kill their ex-spouse. Without the recording from the alleged sting operation, there’s almost no case here at all.
And that may be why Lambesis finds himself out on bail, under the fairly stringent – but infinitely better than jail – confines of house arrest. The court clearly does not believe he is a risk to the community or to his wife and children.