published Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Police arrest 'As I Lay Dying" lead singer Tim Lambesis in murder-for-hire case

Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying performs at the second annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles in this  2010 file photo. Authorities say the singer of Grammy-nominated heavy metal band As I Lay Dying has been arrested in Southern California after trying to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife.
Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying performs at the second annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles in this 2010 file photo. Authorities say the singer of Grammy-nominated heavy metal band As I Lay Dying has been arrested in Southern California after trying to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The wife of the lead singer of the Grammy-nominated band As I Lay Dying says in divorce papers that she was concerned about changes in his behavior.

Authorities say 32-year-old Tim Lambesis tried to hire a hitman to kill his wife. He was arrested Tuesday afternoon while he was shopping at a store in Oceanside.

Law enforcement officials say they acted after receiving a tip last week about the plot by the metal band singer who’s known for screaming out philosophical lyrics.

Meggan Lambesis filed for divorce in September.

In court documents, she says she was concerned about changes in her husband’s behavior and noted his obsession with body building.

But nothing in the documents indicates she felt threatened.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

The lead singer of the Grammy-nominated metal band As I Lay Dying was in jail Wednesday in Southern California on suspicion he tried to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife.

Tim Lambesis, 32, was stopped by police while shopping in Oceanside, five days after detectives received information that the singer had solicited someone to kill his wife, who lives in the nearby beach town of Encinitas, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

A task force from several law enforcement agencies launched an investigation that led to the arrest late Tuesday. The department would give no further details on the investigation.

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

Lambesis was scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday at the county courthouse in Vista.

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. Their last album, “Awakened,” came out in September on Metal Blade Records.

The band’s website says the album compared to previous albums is a “far darker, more pessimistic beast.”

“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. “While the lyrics do perhaps seem like a dark window into my soul, they’re written that way specifically because I want to move on and transcend those difficult moments in life.”

It was not clear whether Lambesis had hired an attorney.

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 with several other metal acts starting later this month.

Lambesis, known for his signature growling vocals, had recently raised more than $78,000 from fans to fund his side project, Austrian Death Machine, a metal band mocking the film work of Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to the Los Angeles Times. The top prize, for those who spent $5,000, was to have the winner’s initials tattooed on Lambesis’ buttocks, the newspaper said.

His record label, Metal Blade, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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