Lamb of God vocalist arrested for Czech manslaughter

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Randy Blythe, vocalist of US metal band Lamb of God, has been arrested upon arrival in Prague, Czech Republic. Blythe is suspected of manslaughter after a fan died during the band's last visit, in Prague in 2010.

A police spokesperson confirmed Blythe was arrested on Wednesday and a court was due to rule today on continued detention for the singer, who hails from Richmond, Virginia. The rest of the band has returned to Virginia after cancelling Thursday's Prague gig.

Blythe on-stage in 2009, the year ahead of the incident in Prague.

It is unclear if Blythe is to be, or has been, charged with inflicting bodily harm resulting in death. Details about the incident were sketchy. Initial reports indicated a fight had broken out, but the band's management denied this. A statement painted the following picture: "This incident deals with a fan that three times during a concert jumped the barricade and rushed Randy during the performance. It is alleged that the third time, security was not able to reach him and that Randy pushed him back into the audience where supposedly he fell and hit his head."

Local media published statements from a witness and friend of the deceased, who said the dead fan was sober and drug-free, and landed on his head. There is fan footage of the show, but it is not known if any footage captures the actual incident. The fan died after weeks in a coma.

The band has started the hashtag #FreeRandyBlythe on Twitter to establish grassroots support. Support has also come from musicians including Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, and Oderus Urungus of fellow Richmond rockers GWAR, who said "This whole thing reeks" on Twitter.

"All I can say is that I can’t recall that particular show let alone a fan being beaten on the stage" said Chris Adler, Lamb of God's drummer. "I think I would’ve noticed something like that considering the Dime thing" he added, a reference to the death of Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was shot on-stage by a fan in 2004. "All we try to do is entertain; the fans are why we’re here. We would never try and harm anyone." Adler also offered his sympathies to the dead fan's relatives.

A conviction would see Blythe facing a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.