AS I LAY DYING frontman Tim Lambesis‘ attorney believes his client may have been the victim of a setup in connection with the singer’s alleged attempt to hire someone to kill Lambesis‘ estranged wife.
Tim was arrested without incident on Tuesday (May 7) around 2 p.m. at a Barnes Noble bookstore in Oceanside, California and was ordered held on $3 million bail during his arraignment hearing on Thursday. He faces nine years in state prison if convicted.
Prosecutors initially requested that Superior Court Judge Martin Staven set Lambesis‘ bail at $20 million, saying the singer remains “substantially motivated to kill his wife.”
Speaking to Artisan News (see video below), Tim‘s attorney, Anthony Salerno, revealed that Tim‘s charges were a lot heavier initially, with the potential consequences being life in jail.
“He was arrested for conspiracy to commit murder, which carries a life sentence, as well as being booked for soliciting murder,” Salerno said. “I won’t necessarily get too deep [in the details of] the law surrounding conspiracy, but I came to believe very strongly that there is absolutely no way that he could be even charged with conspiracy, much less convicted of it. [So] one of the first things I did was to reach out directly to the [district attorney] that was assigned to the case and had some conversations with her. And she, in fact, did decide for Tim not to be charged with conspiracy, which was a big victory, ’cause that took a potential life sentence off the table before he was even charged. That’s something that jumped out at me right away — that I needed to do that early intervention — so we did that.”
Salerno also said that Lambesis was originally being held without bail before the attorney was able to intervene.
“At the point Tim was first arrested, the Sheriff’s Department asked for and received permission to hold him with no bail,” he said. “They got that permission for a judge and I knew that that was well in excess of what the bail schedule in San Diego County calls for. So my next order of business was to try to see what we could do to get that bail… well, first of all, to get a bail, and then to get it set as low as possible. That, of course, was what the bail hearing was about [on Thursday]. I was a little bit disappointed; I thought the bail should have been much lower. The scheduled amount for the charge that he ultimately has now is just $250,000. And, in fact, the scheduled amount for even solicitation to commit murder is a million [dollars]; and the judge set it at three million. So I was a little disappointed that it was that high. On the other hand, the D.A. was asking that the bail continued to be set at no bail whatsoever, and then she said — [which] I thought [was] kind of over the top — that as a backup, it ought to be set at $20 million. I think the fact that an earlier judge had said ‘no bail’ kind of must have influenced our judge, and that’s [why] he set the three million. So right now the gameplan is to try to work on getting Tim out at that three million or possibly to have it lowered.”
The lawyer added that someone may have given false information about Lambesis to authorities in order to “save his own skin.”
“I would anticipate myself asking for quite a bit of additional discovery, particularly on this person I strongly suspect is a snitch and is an informant for the police and was really creating this whole scenario and sort of setting Tim up,” he said. “I believe there’s a good probability he may be a police informant. And that information is only available internally with the police department, or in this case the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, and through the D.A.’s office, and that’s something I’m gonna have to explore as well.”
He added: “There’s one other element to this, too, which is… I don’t want to start to make accusations on this one unless I have some more information, but I will point out that Tim‘s wife’s brother, I understand, is a San Diego Sheriff’s deputy, and I think I would be remiss if I didn’t fully explore that, ’cause that is a litte bit… it’s at the bare minimum very coincidental, and it may be more than that.”
According to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department web site, as of Friday afternoon (May 10), Lambesis had yet to post bail one day after pleading not guilty to a charge of solicitation of murder. The singer remains behind bars at a Vista, California detention facility and his next court date is set for June 10.
Lambesis was ordered to wear a GPS monitor and turn in his passport and was warned by the judge that, if he is released from jail, he must stay away from his immediate family.