Tommy Streat, the organizer of the vigil which was held on July 8 on Brown’s Island in Richmond, Virginia in support of LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe, told the Richmond Times-Dispatchthat he is planning another vigil for Sunday, July 22 from 1 to 3 p.m., in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Blythe was arrested in the Czech Republic on June 27 and is facing manslaughter charges in connection with a 2010 Prague concert at which he allegedly shoved a local fan off the stage. The man, who is said to have stormed the stage three times during the show, reportedly suffered a brain hemorrhage that resulted in his death nearly a month later.
Blythe‘s next Czech court appearance is scheduled for Thursday, July 19.
“Hopefully, we’ll be welcoming him home” after the court appearance, said Streat. “But if not, we’ll be sending the message that will support him.”
Randy has been charged with causing “bodily harm of the fourth degree, resulting in the death of a fan” and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Blythe, who has already posted bail of 4 millionCzech Koruna (approximately $200,000), will have been imprisoned for three weeks by the time he gets his next day in court.
This week’s hearing will reportedly involve a panel of judges that meet to review the prosecutors bail challenge; they can approve the bail or annul the bail.
Streat told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he’s been amazed by the support from fans so far but hoped that some of the more vocal fans would remember to better consider their comments.
“A lot of the Czech news sources are starting to pick up on that stuff, and it’s getting nasty,” he said. “There’s no reason to bash another country. They have a different legal system from ours, but we have to respect that.”
Jonathan Crane, a reporter for the Prague Post, an English-language newspaper in Prague, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in an e-mail, “Blythe has not been denied bail, but rather, the bail has been challenged by the state prosecutor. I know this seems strange — in most other countries, you post bail and then you’re released. Bail in the Czech Republic is subject to appeal, which is what happened here.”
A LAMB OF GOD fan from Brandenburg, Kentucky created a petition in an online forum on the White House web site to ease the process of petitioning the government to help Blythe. As of this morning, more than 15,000 people had signed the petition. (A petition needs 25,000 signatures in 30 days to get attention.)
“In just eight days open to the public, we have gotten … 10,000 signatures,” creator Espedito C. “Tito” Fink told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in an email Thursday. “This has been a group effort of everyone in the Facebook group that I created. Without them, I don’t think this would have gotten off the ground.
“I’m hoping this will bring enough awareness so the federal government will do any and everything within its power to diplomatically bring Randy home while remaining on good terms with the Czech Republic.”