Tim Lambesis Sentenced To Six Years Over Murder-For-Hire Plot

Written by Tom Williams on May 17, 2014

Tim Lambesis, vocalist and founding member of San Diego metal band As I Lay Dying, has been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot to kill his estranged wife.

The sentencing was originally slated to take place on 2nd May, but was delayed until yesterday, 16th May. Judge Carlos Armour of the San Diego Superior Court made the ruling, which included a 48-day credit for time Lambesis has already served in custody.

In late February Tim Lambesis pleaded guilty to attempting to solicit an undercover police officer to kill his wife Meggan Lambesis, whom he had married eight years earlier. After his guilty plea, Lambesis faced up to nine years in prison.

Rolling Stone have reported that during the sentencing hearing, over three dozen of the 80-plus spectators present wore yellow felt hearts on their clothing in support of Meggan Lambesis. Three of Tim Lambesis’ bandmates — Nick Hipa, Phil Sgrosso and Josh Gilbert — were also present at the sentencing.

According to Radio.com, Meggan Lambesis spoke at the sentencing, saying that Tim Lambesis’ behavior changed dramatically in the months leading up to his arrest on 7th May 2013. Of note was the fact that on 6th May 2013, he asked Meggan for the social security numbers of their three adopted children. She claimed that her life “felt as fragile as a piece of paper that could float away at any moment”.

Meggan Lambesis also referenced Tim Lambesis’ favourite line from the movie Total Recall, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s character shoots his wife and says, “Consider that a divorce.” Lambesis has a musical side project called Austrian Death Machine, for which he does a Schwarzenegger impression and titles songs with references to the actor. Meggan closed her statement by requesting the maximum sentence and a lifetime restraining order.

Mike Murphy, Meggan’s father, claimed that the family still fears her assassination. “We know that prison is a great alibi for someone who wants to complete the deed,” he told the court. Meggan’s mother then claimed that Lambesis had been “abusive”, and that he had regarded her daughter’s life as “a mere inconvenience to this narcissistic child”.

Tim Lambesis reportedly struggled to speak, and wept before he could look at his wife. “I do feel deep remorse. I want to thank you… for your prayers… in the midst of everything that I’ve done… that you have still have the heart that you do,” he said to her. Tim Lambesis remains the subject of a $2 million civil lawsuit filed by his wife.

In an interview with Alt Press conducted in the final weeks and days leading up to his sentencing, Lambesis has openly discussed the joy his adopted children have given him, revealed that he’s still writing music and the struggles he has faced.

“I did fall flat on my face. I hit rock bottom. I lost everything,” Lambesis says in the interview. “The trauma, the solitude: It made me the person I think they hoped I would eventually become. I know I have a long road ahead of me. I know that making amends will be a difficult process.

“But if they are open for it, this story of tragedy turning into redemption, it’s a story that’s just as much in their hands at this point as it is mine. They wanted to see me go through whatever it took to make me a good father. Now I have, and I’m not allowed to be a father.”

Lambesis goes on to say that he’s extremely remorseful, and that he offered his life savings to Meggan’s family. “At the only meeting I ever had with them, the only chance I had to talk to one of the family members, I offered every dime to them,” he says.

“I know that’s not enough. It never could be. But it was a gesture to say, ‘If that entire chapter of my life was a waste, if I have to give it all away to try to undo the hurt I’ve caused, I will do it’.”

During his time in custody, there were clues that Lambesis may have been posting As I Lay Dying statements online from within prison. Austrian Death Machine also managed to release a single whilst Lambesis was awaiting sentencing.

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