Tim Lambesis’ “massive moral decline” lead to steroids, divorce, a gruesome custody battle, and six years of jail time after being convicted of solicitation of murder.
Rumor hysteria took over last year when As I Lay Dying’s front man, Tim Lambesis was arrested on attempting to facilitate his wife’s murder. The rumors have been set straight in an exclusive interview of Lambesis with Alternative Press released after his sentencing to six years in prison.
The beginning of Lambesis’ issues arose from a distancing relationship between him and his wife Meggan Murphy Lambesis. After adopting three children, and Lambesis touring while his wife stayed at home, their views, morals, and priorities changed. Meggan began to resent Lambesis for not being around for long periods of time and putting more priority into his music than into her and their family. Lambesis channeled this tension into working out and his physical health.
Lambesis started his steroid use because he “had hit a natural plateau” and wasn’t seeing changes in his body mass after a certain point. He quickly became addicted to the gym and performance enhancers. “I adopted the mentality that I had to take them to achieve what I wanted. I was convinced that if I didn’t achieve that type of look, I had failed [in my fitness goals and in my career].” As many people become over obsessive with gym culture, Lambesis put his relationships with his children and wife at risk when Meggan filed divorce papers with one of her reasonings being he spent too much time at the gym. Other things on that list include; spending money on cars and tattoos, ignoring the kids, and falling asleep while watching them swim in the pool. Lambesis explains, “I could probably start from the top and explain [each thing]. I’m not going to deny there are some things in there that are true…Those are just a couple of examples of the absurdities that are in there from somebody who just wants to find reasons to slam me.”
“I don’t love you the way you love me. I want you to be able to go forward in life and be happy. I want you to be with somebody who really loves you,” Lambesis explains in an email he sent to his wife notifying her that he wanted to end their marriage. The situation began to spiral out of control when both families got involved and the kids started getting brainwashed. The children were not allowed to see Lambesis’ parents and one of the children said “Mommy prays with us at night that we don’t have to go to Daddy’s house anymore.” As any parent would do, Lambesis fought back and made ridiculous comments to his children to counteract what their mother was telling them.
Lambesis grew with anger and frustration. This hurting ultimately led to his decision to hire a third party to murder his wife. After a conversation with his steroid dealer, Brett Kimball, it seemed like the only option to fix things was to go through with murdering his wife. It was an irrational decision, Lambesis explains looking back on it. “As much as I wished there was a better option, this is my best option” Lambesis thought. “Obviously, right now, I can think of a dozen [better] things…”
Brett Kimball, the steroid dealer, set up a meeting between Lambesis and a man named Red. On May 7th 2013, Lambesis met with Red in a Barnes & Noble, giving him a picture of his wife, the address, and $1000. In an insane panic, Lambesis decided to write down the alarm codes to the house and when and what days he will be with his children. The conversation between the two was very vague and ambiguous. Red kept saying,” I want you to specifically say exactly what you want.” Lambesis kept saying, “I just want her gone.” Red goes on to say,“Just to be clear: You want your wife dead?” Lambesis responds, “Yes, to answer your question specifically, that’s what I want.” Kimball worked with law enforcement to set up this meeting with Red who was actually an undercover cop and recorded the entire conversation between the two.
In extreme effort to get out of the parking lot as quickly as possible, Lambesis realized with the turn of his head that someone is pointing a gun at him. He was quickly arrested and put into the back on a cop car and then into an isolation room where he instantly fell asleep. “I’m so out of my mind from everything that’s going on.” Lambesis explains that he was not acting as he would normally and could only ask ridiculous questions. It wasn’t until he called his family to explain what was going on when the heaviness of reality hit him. With the severe imbalance of not taking testosterone supplements and weeks in isolation, Lambesis instantly lost hope and felt like his entire world was crumbling around him, “I would wake up and feel like life was meaningless, life was hopeless.” The one thing that kept Lambesis going was his children.
The hearing came on September 16, 2013. Lambesis followed with his initial plea of not guilty and was set with $3 million bail. A week later, the bail was lowered to $2 million. More than he anticipated and 12 times the normal amount for the crime, Lambesis was determined to come up with the money. His parents cut some deals and came with enough to bail their son out. Many people made offers to Lambesis for rights to his story and in return a large amount of money. One of the offers was $60,000 exactly what he needed to not owe his parents anything and make bail on his own, but he refused.
When Lambesis was originally arrested in May of 2013, he plead not guilty. “I admit, in my heart, as a human being, I was guilty, because my heart was capable of going there. But in the court of law, I firmly believed I was innocent.” He then changed his stand in the court of law to guilty.
What this means for As I Lay Dying is something the fans are most concerned with. It was settled that the partnerships and relationships the Christian metal band had formed was all strictly business. Being the frontman, Lambesis believes he and band mate, Jordan, have full ownership of the band. Lambesis explains,
I’ll just say this: they made it very clear that we were business partners and nothing more. It’s heartbreaking on a personal level, but there’s nothing wrong with doing that. I have to respect it. It’s their choice. But when there are business decisions to be made, I can’t sit waiting around for answers from people who won’t speak to me. I’m definitely not going to wait for a five-person consensus, if it’s just business. The ownership of the As I Lay Dying business is actually only two people. It’s Jordan and I. We used to make things more democratic, even though Jordan and I had veto power. But for whatever minimal business that’s left, it’s Jordan and I. I would never jump back into a van or a bus [with all of them]. I want to be surrounded by people who are trying to make each other better on a personal level and aren’t just trying to make good music.
No more music will be released as As I Lay Dying. The three members that still remain, Nick Hipa, Josh Gilbert and Phil Sgrosso, are no longer a part of the band as well as Lambesis and Jordan Mancino. Basically, the band has dissipated and the four are moving on to new things, new music, and a new adventure with Wovenwar. As for Lambesis, he is writing a record he wants to be for himself, his family, and his friends. He has made it clear that it is not an As I Lay Dying record, nor is it a solo record. Because Lambesis believes that since his arrest, Metal Blade Records doesn’t care about anything he does he explains he wants to be dropped from his contract,
I wish Metal Blade would let me free from the contract. Like, no joke, I want to do more records that are totally charity-based. I want to take away any sort of impure motive. But in the traditional label model, if I don’t deliver a record that will make them a certain amount of money, they can tie it all up until I give them something they like.
Timothy Lambesis will most likely serve 3 out of the 6 years he is sentenced for and is in preparation mode. No matter how long he serves behind bars, Lambesis has learned his lesson and is using this as a learning experience. He believes he is becoming a better person than he was before this all happened, however this will most likely haunt him for the rest of his life. The emotional pain of loosing his life, career and family will never fade.
I deserve so much more than what I’ll get [at the sentencing]. I’m thankful, even if I get more time than the minimum, I’m thankful. I’m not making excuses. In most societies through recent human history, I could have gotten a lot worse. I’m thankful. The change that needs to happen within me, whether I serve six days or six years, has begun. I don’t think it does our government any better to spend a bunch of money locking me up for a long period of time. Whatever arguments we present in court to try to lower my sentencing are unrelated to the remorse I feel and the gratitude that’s in my heart. I’ll always feel like I deserve longer. But honestly, the true sentence started well before my arrest. The true punishment was losing my kids and eventually, losing them for good was my own doing. Losing them on an emotional level long before my sentencing was my doing. That’s the sentence I will have the hardest time enduring. I think about my son, especially. If I were to make a list of my top 10 memories from my life, at least seven of those include Biruk. I may never see him again. No matter how long I’m in prison, that will be the hardest sentence I will have to live with, by far.