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Fri Oct 24 20:02:46 SAST 2014

Lamb of God singer indicted for manslaughter after fan's death

Times LIVE | 04 December, 2012 13:06
Vocalist Randy Blythe of Lamb of God at Optimus Alive 2009
Image by: José Goulão / Wikimedia Commons

The Lamb of God singer has been indicted for manslaughter in Prague, where he's been accused of pushing a man off the stage during a 2010 concert at Rock Cafe, causing the victim injuries from which he ultimately died.

E! Online said Blythe spent five weeks in jail in the Czech Republic capital earlier this year after his initial arrest. Despite prosecutors' objections, he was released and allowed to leave the country to resume touring August, promising to return if need be.

In an interview with MTV News after being released, Blythe said that, if prosecutors decided to formally charge him, he would willingly return to the Czech Republic to face his accusers, not just to clear his name, but to bring closure to the family of the fan.

"I feel that it's the right thing for me to do, to go back and face trial. I won't be extradited, but ethically I think it's the correct thing for me to do," Blythe said.

"So if I start feeling some trepidation about that, I just remind myself that I have to do the right thing ... this poor young man's family deserves some answers."

If found guilty of manslaughter, Blythe reportedly faces five-to-10 years in prison.

Lamb of God's manager Larry Mazer said that the frontman "intend[s] to fight vigorously against these charges," and added that "we feel that in no way did Randy intend to cause bodily harm on the young fan.

"We believe that Randy responded professionally to the numerous amount of fans rushing the stage that day, a number of them captured on videos that have been posted on the Internet," Mazer, said in a statement to Rolling Stone.

"We have testimony from the venue operator that acknowledges lax security and an improper barricade being used that evening. Numerous testimonies from fans also were contradictory as to the actions of the multiple fans that tried to access the stage."

Blythe told the magazine in August that he doesn't remember what happened on the night in question.

"There were a lot of people on stage," he said. "There's a lot of questions as to what happened with this young man — that's all still to come out in trial."

Asked if he thought the US government should have intervened on his behalf, Blythe called it a "sticky question".

“The Czech legal system is different, and from what I understand, I was given due process," he said. "I was not imprisoned in America. That was the first thing that I had to realise and keep in mind—'We're playing by different rules here.' I certainly would have appreciated a little bit more concern on my part."

According to Czech news site Novinky.cz, prosecutors in Prague now have three months to set a trial date or request further investigation.

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