A not guilty plea was entered Thursday by As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis towards charges that he paid an undercover agent $1,000 to kill his estranged wife. He was arraigned in North San Diego County Superior Court on charges of solicitation of murder.
A judge set his bail at $3 million and he must wear a GPS monitoring device and face travelling restrictions if he’s released.
He was arrested on Tuesday inside of a Barnes & Nobles book store near San Diego after an undercover agent known as “Red” recorded Lambesis telling him he wanted his estranged wife Meggan dead. Then he gave Red an envelope of cash with instructions on how to kill her, which included her address, security gate code, photos and dates he would be with their three adopted children as an alibi.
This was staged by authorities after Lambesis told a man at his gym last month that he wanted his wife killed due to difficulties over seeing their children and completing their divorce.
This all comes following the couple separating last September after Lambesis emailing his wife while on tour, telling her he didn’t love her anymore. Meggan later learned he was having an affair and was involved with other women.
She said in a divorce filing that her husband fell asleep while caring for their children near a pool, spent countless hours at the gym and spending thousands of dollars on tattoos. She also said he toured six months out of the year and made two last minute trips to Florida in one month to see a girlfriend he was allegedly involved with.
But Lambesis’ lawyer, Anthony Salerno, told reporters that he was a victim of a setup, and insisted he never intended on harming anyone. “Law enforcement was being fed something by someone that I strongly believe was a snitch, was out to save his own skin and was trumping things up, exaggerating things.”
Listen to his explanation in an interview with Artisan News below:
Salerno expected Lambesis to make bail, which included the conditions prohibiting him from contacting his wife or children, not allowing him to leave the San Diego area except to visit his lawyer in Los Angeles. This complicates As I Lay Dying’s upcoming 30-city tour with Killswitch Engage, which was slated to begin May 30th in Oklahoma City. No word on the status of their participation.
The other members of the band issued a statement on their official website earlier in the week:
To our fans,
As we post this, the legal process is taking it’s course and we have no more information than you do. There are many unanswered questions, and the situation will become clearer in the coming days and weeks. We’ll keep you informed as best we can.
Our thoughts right now are with Tim, his family, and with everyone else affected by this terrible situation – and with our fans, whom we love and draw strength from.
Thank you for understanding, and as always, for your support of As I Lay Dying.
– Jordan, Nick, Phil, and Josh