Updated coverage of the Tim Lambesis murder-for-hire case
[Photo: Angie Lee, CBS 8]
UPDATE: May 9 at 10:18 p.m. EDT
Watch footage from the arraignment, below:
UPDATE: May 9 at 9:55 p.m. EDT
As I Lay Dying have always been identified as a Christian band, in large part due to Lambesis' open faith.
However, as our various sources and Deputy Dist. Atty. Claudia Grasso have reported, several months ago, Lambesis had sent his wife an email telling her that he no longer loved her or believed in God, providing further evidence of his recent noted personality changes. His wife had also learned that he had had several extra-marital affairs, she said.
UPDATE: May 9 at 6:43 p.m. EDT
According to the DA, an audio recording of the transaction between Lambesis and the undercover detective exists and will reportedly come out in the trial.
A preliminary court date has been set for July 10.
UPDATE: May 9 at 6:23 p.m. EDT
A CBS correspondent at the scene is reporting that Lambesis entered a plea of not guilty at the arraignment and "Prosecutors say [he] gave [the] undercover agent cash wife's pics gate code dates of when to kill her." The frontman had allegedly directed the detective he believed to be a hit man to kill his wife while he was with his children so he would have an alibi.
Though the prosecutor wanted to set Lambesis' bail at $20 million, it has been reduced to $3 million, and his attorney says that they are working on posting it right now, despite prosecutors deeming Lambesis a "flight risk" and "danger to the public."
Lambesis' bandmates, reps from management and Metal Blade Records along with band attorney Ian Friedman were in attendance, our source reports.
View a photo from the court appearance, below.
UPDATE: May 9 at 11:15 a.m. EDT
Confirming our previous reports, UT San Diego have pulled divorce documents citing that Meggan Lambesis, the singer's wife of eight years with whom he has three adopted children from Ethiopia "had seen changes in her husband’s behavior 'that concern me regarding his ability to care for our three children.'"
According to Meggan, Lambesis had become obsessed with body-building, indulged financially in cars and tattoos and had become "unavailable for the children," between touring and weight-lifting.
UPDATE: May 8 at 8:11 p.m. EDT
The other four members of As I Lay Dying have released a statement in response to the news of Tim Lambesis' arrest. You can read it below:
"To our fans,
As we post this, the legal process is taking it's course and we have no more information than you do. There are many unanswered questions, and the situation will become clearer in the coming days and weeks. We'll keep you informed as best we can.
Our thoughts right now are with Tim, his family, and with everyone else affected by this terrible situation - and with our fans, whom we love and draw strength from.
Thank you for understanding, and as always, for your support of As I Lay Dying.
- Jordan, Nick, Phil, and Josh"
UPDATE: May 8 at 3:23 p.m. EDT
Sources have told AP exclusively that friends and acquaintences of the singer have noted a change in his personality since he started getting heavily into bodybuilding. Our source says, "It's a common subject of late how different he's seemed."
UPDATE: May 8 at 11:29 a.m. EDT
AP can confirm from a police report that Lambesis was booked yesterday and his court date is set for 1:30 p.m. PT tomorrow, May 9. He is being held at the Vista Detention Facility and is ineligible for bail or release at this time.
UPDATE: May 8 at 11:28 a.m. EDT
A full statment from San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell can be heard via the video from Artisan News, below.
Transcript of the statement:
"He is charged with Solicitation Of Another To Commit Murder. Information came to us late last week,last Thursday, to be specific , that Lambesis was soliciting another individual to kill his estranged wife, who also resides in the area.
Our detectives, our fugitive task force and the sheriff's special investigations division immediately initiated an investigation into the allegation. We worked around the clock through the weekend and that culminated this afternoon when Lambesis solicited an undercover detective to kill his wife."
So, what's next for authorities?
"The next step will be Lambesis' initial appearance in court, and that is where the charges are read, and if there's a bail to be set. They will go from there and start setting different court dates. The investigation at our end is still ongoing, and I can't go into detail on that. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but I believe that the captain who commented earlier said that we averted a tragedy today."
UPDATE: May 8 at 10:04 a.m. EDT
Lambesis' official charge is Solicitation of Another to Commit Murder, according to the San Diego Police Department, who say they were tipped off to the frontman's plans late last week and acted quickly to foil the plot with the help of an undercover detective.
According to Billboard, Lambesis' wife, Meggan, the target of his plans, had filed for divorce last September.
UPDATE: May 7 at 9:48 p.m. EDT
The vocalist just returned from tour in China yesterday, according to his latest tweet, which you can view below:
UPDATE: May 7 at 9:25 p.m. EDT
Metal Blade Records have told us that they have no official comment on the arrest.
ORIGINAL POST: May 7 at 9:15 p.m. EDT
As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis was apparently arrested in Oceanside, California today, May 7, accused of hiring a hitman to kill his estranged wife. We are reaching out to the band's representatives for further clarification
Reuters reports that Lambesis was allegedly caught soliciting an undercover detective to carry out the murder.