AS I LAY DYING / Austrian Death Machine Frontman Tim Lambesis Sentenced To Six Years In Prison

Photo: Bob Weatherston Photo: Bob Weatherston for

According to‘s Jay Tilles (with reporting by Eva Knott), Tim Lambesis, singer for San Diego metal band As I Lay Dying (also Austrian Death Machine) was sentenced today (May 16th) to six years in prison in a San Diego Superior Courtroom for attempting to hire a hit man to kill his wife. Judge Carlos Armour handed down the sentencing.

Last February, Lambesis threw himself on the mercy of the court by pleading guilty to the felony charge of soliciting the murder of his wife of eight years, Meggan Lambesis.

The verdict was handed down as the singer’s ex-bandmates Nick Hipa, Phil Sgrosso and Josh Gilbert looked on. Spilling into the section typically reserved for the defense, many of Meggan’s more than three dozen supporters adorned small yellow felt hearts pinned to their shirts to make their sentiments known. With more than 80 spectators packing the gallery, defense attorney Tom Warwick told the judge that he had a lot of people who support Tim and he wanted “some kind of parity” with the seating in the room.


Lambesis spoke about his case for the first (and possibly last) time anywhere, in a series of interviews with AP’s West Coast Editor Ryan J. Downey conducted in the final weeks and days leading up to today’s sentencing of six years imprisonment.


Alternative Press: How did things get so bad that you would even entertain the idea of her death?

Lambesis: “After our separation, I was only allowed to see the kids twice a week. And it had to be somewhere Meggan could sit in the distance and literally watch me watch the kids.”

Alternative Press: How’d that start? Is that legal?

Lambesis: “Well, I realize that a lot of my behavior since then justifies her skepticism. Her attitude was, ‘He decided to leave me. There’s nothing wrong with me. He must be crazy.’ If you’re emotionally defending yourself, that’s a reasonable way to react to a certain degree. But eventually you gotta get to that point where you realize, ‘Whether it’s my fault or his fault that we’re not together, we’re just not together.'”

Alternative Press: How are you preparing for prison?

Lambesis: “I know what it’s like to get ready for a long tour. The problem is, this isn’t a long tour. It’s somewhere between six months and three years. If I knew I was preparing for six months, I would walk into this, like, ‘I got a lot of hope ahead of me.’ Career wise, and as a father, I don’t ever want to depend on getting in a van or on a bus to make a living. I need to have a backup plan. It’s hard to prepare without knowing how long I’ll be inside. I will say that whether I serve three days or three years, the lessons have been learned. At this point, it’s just satisfying the public, my ex-wife and her family with a certain amount of punishment. It won’t make anybody feel better, but we all live under the illusion that punishing people makes us feel better. That’s for the judge to decide, you know, how much punishment will make society feel that I was punished.”


Alternative Press: This interview may be your last chance to communicate with the Murphy family.

Lambesis: “It’s so hard to process. I would like to say to them that I have an extreme amount of remorse. I realize any apology I make only helps in the slightest little bit, if at all. I don’t know how to word this exactly. I don’t just want to say, ‘Oh, I feel really badly.’ For what it’s worth, I did offer to give away my entire life savings from my 13-year career in music. At the only meeting I ever had with them, the only chance I had to talk to one of the family members, I offered every dime to them. I know that’s not enough. It never could be. But it was a gesture to say, ‘If that entire chapter of my life was a waste, if I have to give it all away to try to undo the hurt I’ve caused, I will do it.’ I know money doesn’t make things better. I could actually go to her and get spousal support. I’m unemployed. Her family is wealthy. I could fight through family law courts and see how much I can keep. They can continue to fight me through civil suits. But I don’t want to fight. I want to move past the whole thing. I could try to slug it out with the smallest details in court. I don’t want to. I want to reveal where my heart is at now. I’m trying my best to put my right foot forward. I know it’s only a small thing in the big scale of what I need, the hurt I need to undo. There’s only so much I can do, I guess. I really do think that healing is possible. I thought almost a year later, after the events, there’d be some healing going on, some communication between families. When I took a step back and realized the first time I offered to try and make things easier wouldn’t result in, ‘Oh, okay, let’s all hug,’ I was naively hoping for something and felt discouraged when it didn’t happen. But they’re out living normal lives. Here I am I’m in my bubble.”

Alternative Press: You can’t deny that you put yourself here.

Lambesis: “I deserve so much more than what I’ll get [at the sentencing]. I’m thankful, even if I get more time than the minimum, I’m thankful. I’m not making excuses. In most societies through recent human history, I could have gotten a lot worse. I’m thankful. The change that needs to happen within me, whether I serve six days or six years, has begun. I don’t think it does our government any better to spend a bunch of money locking me up for a long period of time. Whatever arguments we present in court to try to lower my sentencing are unrelated to the remorse I feel and the gratitude that’s in my heart. I’ll always feel like I deserve longer. But honestly, the true sentence started well before my arrest. The true punishment was losing my kids and eventually, losing them for good was my own doing. Losing them on an emotional level long before my sentencing was my doing. That’s the sentence I will have the hardest time enduring. I think about my son, especially. If I were to make a list of my top 10 memories from my life, at least seven of those include Biruk. I may never see him again. No matter how long I’m in prison, that will be the hardest sentence I will have to live with, by far.”

Alternative Press: It sounds like you’re ready to go inside.

Lambesis: “Emotionally, I’m prepared for the prison time. But when my physical sentence is over, how long will the rest of it follow me? People who love me tell me I will overcome these feelings. I can still have a good life. But the emotional sentence will be never ending. At least I feel like it will never end. My girlfriend, my parents, they’ve said it 1,000 times. They say it will end. Maybe I need to hear it 100,000 times before I will believe it.”
Read more at Alternative Press.




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