Tim Lambesis appeared in court May 9 for his first arraignment hearing after being arrested for allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill his estranged wife. The As I Lay Dying frontman showing up behind a glass partition in a blue prison jumpsuit pled not guilty.
The 32-year-old rocker has been charged with one count of solicitation to commit murder and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime. Prosecutors initially asked his bail be set at $20 million, claiming that the defendant was both a flight risk and a danger to the public.
Judge Martin Staven eventually set Tim's bail at $3 million, reasoning that he has ties across the United States and outside the country. If he posts bail, he has to wear a GPS monitoring device, surrender his passport, and stay away from his wife Meggan Lambesis and their children.
Details of the alleged plan hatched to end Meggan's life were also revealed during the Thursday court date. A prosecutor said Tim gave an undercover agent $1,000 in cash along with her pictures, address, security gate code, and dates of when he wanted the man to carry out the plan.
According to the prosecutor, there's a recording of Tim instructing the detective to murder his wife. When the agent specifically asked the singer if he wanted his wife killed, he said, "Yes, that's exactly what I want." He wanted her killed while he was with their children to give him an alibi.
Before meeting with the undercover agent, Tim reportedly told a gym patron on April 23 and again on April 24 that he wanted his wife killed. He allegedly complained that she was making it difficult for him to see their children and impossible to settle their divorce.
The couple has three children, 4, 8 and 10, all adopted from Ethiopia. Their marriage hit the rock bottom in August last year when he went on tour with his band. The rocker who has a degree in religious studies sent her an email saying that he no longer loved her and no longer believed in God.
She later learned that he had been having affairs with a string of women and decided to file for divorce from him citing "irreconcilable differences." She claimed he had become obsessed with bodybuilding and going to the gym, and spent thousands of dollars on tattoos.
She was also concerned about his ability to care for their kids, noting that he once had been falling asleep while caring for them near a pool.
In the Thursday hearing, Meggan told the judge that she feared for her life and was living in seclusion with her children. She was afraid that her estranged husband may have paid someone else to harm her.
Defense attorney Anthony Salerno denied those allegations, saying his client did not intend to harm anyone. The attorney claimed Tim was a victim of a setup, "Law enforcement was being fed something by someone that I strongly believe was a snitch, was out to save his own skin and was trumping things up, exaggerating things."
Aside from a pack of reporters, also spotted in the courtroom were Tim's bandmates, reps for Metal Blade Records, 5B Management and the band's attorney, Ian Friedman.
The band had previously released a statement after his arrest, "As we post this, the legal process is taking its course and we have no more information than you do. There are many unanswered questions, and the situation will become clearer in the coming days and weeks."
"We'll keep you informed as best we can. Our thoughts right now are with Tim, his family, and with everyone else affected by this terrible situation - and with our fans, whom we love and draw strength from. Thank you for understanding, and as always, for your support of As I Lay Dying."