According to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department web site, as of Friday afternoon (May 10), AS I LAY DYING frontman Tim Lambesis had yet to post bail one day after pleading not guilty to a charge of solicitation of murder. The singer, who is accused of trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife, remains behind bars at a Vista, California detention facility and his next court date is set for June 10.
Tim Lambesis 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.”
During yesterday’s arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Clausia Grasso stated: “On April 23 of 2013, the defendant met with an individual from his gym and asked him if he knew of someone that could kill his wife. The previous day, that same individual from the gym ran into another gym individual that happened to make a remark of, ‘Oh, the defendant is doing well on tour, but he would be better if his wife was killed.’ So, this individual thought that was strange — they agreed to have another meeting, and this meeting took place on April 24. There, the defendant reiterated and asked this gym individual if he knew of someone that could kill his wife. He said that she was not letting him see the kids, that she was making this divorce ‘impossible’ and further, that it was better for the children to have one healthy relationship with one parent than two unhealthy ones, and he wanted her gone.”
Grasso continued: “On May 7, the defendant agreed to meet with ‘Red,’ who was an undercover agent posing as a hitman. The defendant told Red that he wanted his wife gone and to never see her again. When asked if he wanted her dead, the defendant replied, and on recording, ‘Yes, that is exactly what I want.’ The defendant told Red that he wanted his wife killed when the children were with him so he would have an alibi. The defendant then handed the undercover agent an envelope with $1000 cash for expenses, pictures of Mrs. Lambesis, her address and gate codes — how to get into her home, to her complex and specific dates when this could be done, which were the same dates that he was due to have the children.”
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.
Defense attorney Anthony Salerno said afterward that he believed his client may have been the victim of a setup. “Law enforcement was fed something by someone who effectively orchestrated the whole thing … [Tim] did not intend to harm anybody,” said the lawyer, who added that someone may have given false information about Lambesis to authorities in order to “save his own skin.” “If I had to hang a tag on it, I’d call it a scumbag snitch setup,” he said. According to MTV News, Salerno also pointed to the large crowd of supporters who had shown up for the hearing — including Lambesis‘ bandmates and AS I LAY DYING fans — as proof that the frontman was not a flight risk.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many people in support of someone at a bail hearing,” Salerno said.