The lead singer of "Christian" metalcore band, As I Lay Dying, will stand trial on charges that he hired a hitman to kill his wife.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Kearney made his decision after witnesses for the prosecution, including an undercover police officer who posed as the hitman, testified for several hours against band frontman Timothy Lambesis earlier this week.
According to undercover officer Howard Bradle, Lambesis told Bradle that he wanted his wife, Meggan Lambesis, dead and gave him Meggan's name, photo and address and $1,000 cash.
According to earlier reports, Lambesis was angry at Meggan for not letting him spend time with their adopted children and did not want to pay the cost of a would-be divorce.
The judge also ordered Lambesis to stay away from Meggan and their three children. Lambesis has also been wearing a GPS tag.
The Grammy-award winning band has enjoyed a long history of being embraced by Christian fans, although band members themselves have been reticent at times to label themselves as such.
"I'm not sure what the difference is between five Christians playing in a band and a Christian band. If you truly believe something, then it should affect every area of your life. All five of us are Christians. I believe that change should start with me first, and as a result, our lyrics do not come across very 'preachy,'" Lambesis stated on the band's website FAQ, prior to his accusations.
He added, "Many of our songs are about life, struggles, mistakes, relationships and other issues that don't fit entirely in the spiritual category. However, all of these topics are written about through my perspective as a Christian."
But shortly after he was accused of these charges, Lambesis' tune changed.
"Every year that I had put toward my degree in Religious Studies caused me to see the god of tradition and ritual that I grew up with as less and less of a probable truth. By the time I graduated, my entire concept of the divine had changed as I sought to reconcile spirituality and reason. The more I sought truth uncorrupted by years of religious history, the more I kept finding answers I didn't want to find. Emotionally, it would have been easiest for me to just hold on to what I grew up believing, but mentally that wasn't an option anymore," Lambesis wrote on his Tumblr.
The trial is currently set for Oct. 22. Lambesis faces a maximum of nine years in prison if convicted.