This is probably the worst news anyone in the metal community has reported on/heard in the last few days, and it’s no different for us here at MR. So here we go. Lamb of God front man Randy Blythe has been formally charged with manslaughter by the Czech Republic and will have to go and stand trial. Wow did that suck to write. If you don’t know the deal click right here to find more but basically what they are claiming is that Blythe tossed a kid off stage and that he later died from injuries sustained. There’s a lot of controversy on weather or not he ever even tossed the kid or if it was a bouncer and it looks like it might be up to the courts to decide now.
A Czech news portal called Novinky.cz is reporting that a Czech state attorney filed criminal charges against Blythe on Friday (November 30) related to the death of a fan in Prague two years ago. The attorney’s office spokeswoman Štepánka Zenklová told the Czech News Agency (CTK) the Prague City Court has three months to set the trial date or return the case to the police and state attorney for further investigation.
Blythe has always maintained that he would return to the Czech Republic to stand trial and unfortunately that may happen now. To read several statements from Blythe on the incident click here because I’m running out of space here.
After being released from prison Randy sat down with WTVR-TV — the CBS television affiliate based in Richmond, Virginia — to discuss his 37-day stay at the notorious Czech Republic penitentiary.
Randy has stated that if charges were to come up:
“I feel ethically responsible to go back there and face this charge. [The victim's] family right now is in a lot of pain, and they deserve some answers. To lose a child is the worst possible thing a human can go through, I think .. I want my name cleared. I have to go around the world and tour, you know. That’s what I do. I’m not going to hide here. I’m an innocent man. I’m going to go to court and see what happens.”
As far as a “worst case scenario” goes, Randy told Metal Hammer later:
“Ten years with no time off for good behavior. For my particular charge — we’re saying manslaughter, but it’s assault in the fourth degree with intent, resulting in the death of this young man — the sentence for that is five to 10 years with no time off. So the worst-case scenario is that get out when I’m 51, 52 years old. It’s not something I really try to dwell on too much, because it’s scary. I don’t want to go to prison, I don’t want that to happen, but the fact of the matter is it could happen. I will deal with it as it comes, that’s all! can do. If you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you’re pissing on the present. And right now, all! have is the present so I prepare myself the best I can. My band is behind me and my family’s behind me and we’re gonna do our best to prove my innocence. But worrying about a nebulous uncertain future, or being super-bummed out that l went to prison for 37 days does me no good.”
Lamb of God’s manager Larry Mazersaid the following when he learned of the indictment:
“After a three month investigation, the prosecutor in the Czech Republic has decided to move forward with an indictment of Randy Blythe on the charge of manslaughter with intent to cause bodily harm. Obviously, we intend to fight vigorously against these charges as we feel that in no way did Randy intend to cause bodily harm on the young fan who subsequently died from injuries sustained at the show. As he has stated previously, Randy intends to go to Prague to defend himself at trial.
“While it is a tragedy that a Lamb of God fan died following a performance by the group, in no way do I feel that Randy did anything improper that led to the young man’s injuries and subsequent death. The price of a ticket to a show does not entitle audience members access to a band’s stage. In the years since the murder on stage of Dimebag Darrell Abbott, performers of all genres have had to become more guarded while performing in response to the dangers presented by fans trying to become part of the performance. We believe that Randy responded professionally to the numerous amount of fans rushing the stage that day, a number of them captured on videos that have been posted on the internet. We have testimony from the venue operator that acknowledges lax security and an improper barricade being used that evening. Numerous testimonies from fans also were contradictory as to the actions of the multiple fans that tried to access the stage.
“At this point, all that the band, myself, and our lawyers can do is to present a defense and try to convince the panel of judges who will hear the case that Randy is innocent of all charges and that his name and reputation need to be cleared and that he be permitted to carry on with his life and career always mindful that a fan passed away after a Lamb of God performance.”