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Arts & Music

Metal singer arrested in murder-for-hire plot

Published:   |   Updated: May 8, 2013 at 01:11 PM

OCEANSIDE, Calif. The lead singer of the Grammy-nominated metal band As I Lay Dying was arrested Tuesday in Southern California over allegations he tried to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife.

Tim Lambesis, 32, was taken into custody while shopping at a retail business in Oceanside, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Detectives received information Thursday that Lambesis had solicited someone to kill his wife, who lives in nearby Encinitas, the statement said. A task force from several law enforcement agencies launched an investigation that led to the arrest.

He was charged on three federal counts — one count of solicitation to commit murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit crime.

The department would give no further details on the investigation.

As I Lay Dying played a concert at the Cuban Club in Ybor City in December of 2012.

The band formed in San Diego in 2000 and has released six albums, including 2007's “An Ocean Between Us,” which reached No. 8 on Billboard's charts. A single from the album, “Nothing Left,” was nominated for a Grammy for top metal performance. Their last album, “Awakened,” came out in September on Metal Blade Records.

It was not clear whether Lambesis had hired an attorney, and a phone message seeking comment left at a number listed in his name was not immediately returned.

The band, which plays in an aggressive style that features metal guitar riffs at the furious pace of hardcore punk, was scheduled to tour the country with several other metal acts starting later this month.

Lambesis, known for his signature growling vocals, had recently raised more than $78,000 from fans to fund his side project, Austrian Death Machine, a metal band mocking the film work of Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to the Los Angeles Times. The top prize, for those who spent $5,000, was to have the winner's initials tattooed on Lambesis' buttocks, the newspaper said.

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