Grammy-nominated As I Lay Dying vocalist Tim Lambesis was arrested in Oceanside on Tuesday on suspicion of hiring a hit man to murder his estranged wife, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Lambesis, 32, was charged on three federal counts -- one count of solicitation to commit murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit crime.
The Times' L.A. Now reported that Lambesis "was arrested without incident while shopping. He is accused of attempting to find someone to kill his estranged wife, who lives in Encinitas." Authorities told L.A. Now that he had "attempted to hire an undercover sheriff's detective for the murder."
A representative for the band did not respond to requests for comment.
Lambesis, an openly Christian heavy metal artist, had recently raised more than $78,000 from fans to fund his side project, Austrian Death Machine, a band mocking the film work of Arnold Schwarzenegger. For $500, Lambesis promised to be "your personal trainer for a month." The top prize, for those who spent $5,000, was to have the winner's initials tattooed on Lambesis' buttocks.
Fans have taken to the act's Facebook page seeking more information on the incident.
"I can't even imagine him resorting to this after all of the inspiration from this band," wrote one. "They have never produced a single thing that would make me believe any of them were capable of this. This would be absolutely heart breaking to hear."
"I am praying for Tim's salvation with you God," wrote another. "Cover him and speak to his heart."
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