photo: U-T San Diego, Bill Wechter
About nine and a half months after As I Lay Dying singer Tim Lambesis was arrested for hiring a hitman to kill his ex-wife Meggan, the Christian rock star pleaded guilty to solicitation of murder. For months, Lambesis maintained his innocence, but on Feb. 25, in court, he changed his plea. Lambesis will be formally sentenced on May 2.
The singer faces up to nine years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Initially, it appeared Lambesis would claim he wasn't responsible for his actions since he was using steroids heavily at the time as part of a weight lifting regimen.
Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso told the judge the singer asked a man at his gym if he knew anyone who could arrange a hit on his wife. "He wanted to know if maybe I could find someone to do it for him," personal trainer Brett Kimball testified at a pretrial hearing, according to NBC News.
Lambesis met with a man he thought was a professional – referred to as "Red," who was actually an undercover officer. The policeman said he asked Lambesis if he wanted his wife of eight years "gone," and the singer said, "I don't want to see her ever again." In response to the question, "Do you want her dead?" Lambesis replied, "Yes, that's exactly what I want," said the prosecutor in the case.
Lambesis gave the undercover agent $1,000 in an envelope, pictures of his wife, her address, and a security gate code as well as dates when the "hit" could be made. The singer wanted to make sure he was taking care of his children on those days, so he had an alibi, the prosecutor said. Lambesis was arrested at an Oceanside bookstore after he made the transaction.
He was released on $2 million bail, then held under house arrest and forced to wear a GPS tracking device. Meggan Lambesis filed for divorce in September 2012 and was seeking $2 million from her estranged husband, reported the Associated Press. In the divorce report, Lambesis's wife claimed the singer had become "obsessed with bodybuilding" and was unable to properly care for their three children, aged between 4 and 10.
Grasso testified that Lambesis wanted his wife dead because she wouldn't let their children, which the couple had adopted from Ethiopia, go on tour with him, and that he was irate that she might have received up to 60 percent of his income in alimony.
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