The frontman for the Grammy-winning band “As I Lay Dying” is facing a court hearing to determine whether he will stand trial on charges he tried to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.
The prosecution will argue its case against Timothy Lambesis during a preliminary hearing Monday in San Diego Superior Court in Vista.
Prosecutors say Lambesis paid $1,000 to a detective posing as a hit man. Investigators say the undercover operation was staged after the singer told a man at his gym on April 23 and again the next day that he wanted his wife killed, complaining that she was making it difficult for him to see their three adopted children and impossible to complete their divorce.
Lambesis has pleaded not guilty to solicitation for murder.
Prosecutors say the singer was on tour in August when he emailed his wife, Meggan Lambesis, telling her he didn’t love her and wanted to end the relationship. Meggan Lambesis, according to prosecutors, later learned her husband was having an affair.
They say Lambesis gave the undercover agent a photograph of his wife, her address, security gate code and dates he would be with his children to give him an alibi.
Defense attorney, Thomas Warwick, has said his client had been using steroids for body building and they’d had a devastating effect on his mind. His lawyer did not return calls seeking comment before the hearing.
The singer has been out on $2 million bail since May. He was ordered to wear a GPS monitor and to stay away from Meggan Lambesis and their three children, who were adopted from Ethiopia.
“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.
The band plays in an aggressive style that features lightening-speed metal guitar riffs. The group’s philosophical lyrics have attracted a following of Christian rock fans.
If convicted, Lambesis could face up to nine years in prison.