Christian Heavy Metal Singer Arrested in Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot

Tim Lambesis, co-founder and lead singer of heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, has been arrested for allegedly trying to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department arrested the singer "without incident" Tuesday afternoon after he solicited an undercover detective to commit the murder, a press release from the department states. Authorities received word on May 2 that Lambesis was allegedly soliciting another person to carry out his plot against the Encinitas, Calif., woman, prompting them to immediately launch an investigation.

"The information came to us late last week. We acted quickly on it. I believe that we averted a great tragedy," Jan Caldwell, a sheriff's department spokesperson, told Reuters. Caldwell said she was unable to disclose certain details about the case, including Lambesis' potential motive, because the investigation is ongoing.

The 32-year-old singer's wife, Meggan, filed for a divorce in September of last year, according to an online court case search.

Lambesis spoke with Noisecreep in January and discussed what he thinks about the media's efforts to decide whether or not to categorize As I Lay Dying as a Christian band.

"Five or so years ago when magazines would try and press that point we decided to stay silent on the spiritual topic so that they would have to pay attention to our music and nothing more," he said. "We didn't preach at our shows, our goal has always been to just write the best music we can write. Of course religion has some influence on the things that we write about just like all of our life experiences do but as a band, we want to be judged on the music rather than what our personal beliefs are."

As I Lay Dying's 2007 album, An Ocean Between Us, debuted in the eighth spot on the Billboard 200 chart. One of the songs from that album, "Nothing Left," received a Grammy nomination for best metal performance in 2008.

 In September, the band released Awakened, the group's sixth album, featuring songs such as "Cauterize" and "Tear Out My Eyes." Lambesis admitted on the band's website that the lyrics on "Awakened" are darker than those on past albums, but for good reason.

"On this record, I wasn't purposefully trying to be negative, but I think sometimes we have to be honest with some of the darker and more difficult times of our lives to get back to that positivity," he said. "While the lyrics do perhaps seem like a dark window into my soul, they're written that way specifically because I want to move on and transcend those difficult moments in life."

The Christian Post was unable to immediately reach a representative of As I Lay Dying's record label, Metal Blade Records.

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