‘Christian’ Singer in Grammy-Nominated Heavy Metal Band Accused of Trying to Hire Hit Man to Murder Estranged Wife

In this file photo taken Thursday, April 8, 2010, Tim Lambesis of As I Lay Dying performs at the second annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo: AP)

The lead singer of Grammy-nominated heavy metal band “As I Lay Dying” was arrested Tuesday in California after he tried to hire an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife, authorities say.

Tim Lambesis, 32, was arrested at a retail business in Oceanside, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement.

Detectives reportedly received the information last Thursday that Lambesis had solicited someone to kill his wife, who lives in nearby Encinitas. A task force from several law enforcement agencies quickly launched an investigation that led to yesterday’s arrest.

“You might think that you’re talking to someone that’s trusted,” Jan Caldwell, spokeswoman for San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, remarked. “You might be talking to someone you know.  But if you’re looking to do something wrong and something bad, most people aren’t going to let that rest.  They’re going to take that to a higher authority.  So, something certainly as sinister as this, needed to be taken somewhere and it was.”

The department would give no further details on the investigation.

“As I Lay Dying” was formed in San Diego in 2000 and has released six albums including 2007’s “An Ocean Between Us,” which reached No. 8 on Billboard’s charts. A track from the album was nominated for a Grammy for top metal performance.

Many have noted that the band has often spoke of its Christian values. 

“He’s not the idealistic young Christian kid he once was, apparently,” Tim Pyles of FM 94/9 told NBCSanDiego. “Because that’s what [As I Lay Dying] are: a straight-edged Christian metal band.  He was a nice guy.  I’ve had him on my show a couple times over the years.  I just spoke to him via Facebook the last couple months about having him come on to talk about his latest record.”

It was not clear whether Lambesis had hired an attorney, and a phone message seeking comment left at a number listed in his name was not immediately returned.

“I heard one of our captains say we prevented a tragedy,” Caldwell remarked. 

According to the group’s website, the band is scheduled to tour the country with several other metal acts starting later this month.

KSWB-TV has more on the story:


​The Associated Press contributed to this report.