The drummer was accused of drug possession and threatening to kill two people, but now his trial has been postponed until spring. He and his lawyer parted ways in the midst of his legal battle.
AC/DC’s longtime member Phil Rudd has been in the spotlight a lot lately, but not for his music. The drummer faced serious legal trouble in 2014 for allegedly threatening to kill two people and possession of illegal drugs. Now he’s facing another hurdle as his lawyer, Paul Mabey, announced he will no longer work on Rudd’s case.
The news came shortly before Rudd’s original trial date set for February 10, 2015. He was ready to appear in a New Zealand court to plead his case against the charges when his lawyer quit. According to Loudwire, his new lawyer is Craig Tuck, and officials have already set a new court date for April 21, 2015.
While Mabey didn’t reveal why he decided to quit the case after working with Rudd for months, he said the split was made on good terms.
“It’s just a professional decision that we have made,” Mabey said.
Since Rudd is now facing these serious charges with a new lawyer, the court has granted him a judge-alone trial in April. This means that Rudd will plead his case directly to the judge and will not have a jury hear his case.
Rudd’s legal trouble began when police raided his home on November 6, 2014. Officers suspected him of hiring someone to murder two people, who later turned out to be Rudd’s contractor and his contractor’s young daughter. According to police reports, Rudd allegedly made a phone call in September threatening their lives, and they received a warrant to search his home.
When police entered the home, they found methamphetamine and marijuana. They charged Rudd with murder for hire, threatening to kill and drug possession. Authorities later dropped the murder for hire charges, and now Rudd is only on the line for the other two charges.
Rudd has plead not guilty to both, but if he is convicted, he could spend up to seven years in prison for the crimes.
The AC/DC family had a rough year in 2014. Before Phil Rudd’s run-in with the law, band members received news that guitarist Malcolm Young has dementia, and will be unable to perform with the band on future tours and albums.
Despite losing two longtime members in the past year, AC/DC has moved on in the meantime. While it’s unclear whether Rudd will continue on with the band if he is acquitted of the charges against him, the band has already lined up a full schedule for 2015 in his absence.
AC/DC kicked off the 2015 Grammys without Rudd. They’ve been announced as one of the biggest acts at this year’s Coachella festival, and are going on tour in support of their latest album. For now, replacement drummer Chris Slade will back them up on their Rock Or Bust tour this year.
Stay tuned here for updates on Phil Rudd’s trial in April.