LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe will stand trial February 4 on charges of manslaughter in the death of a fan at a Prague, Czech Republic concert two years ago.
The court originally had three months to set a trial date after announcing on December 3 that Blythe was officially indicted on manslaughter charges.
Writing on his Instagram account, Blythe said yesterday (Sunday, January 13): “The last two or three days I have been getting ready mentally to leave my home and return to Prague to do this whole trial thing in early February. It’s not something I particularly WANT to do; but inside, my gut and heart tells me it is the RIGHT thing to do. I cannot turn my back on the right thing.”
Blythe is facing the possibility of conviction and a long-term jail sentence after a 2010 incident in which a fan attending a LAMB OF GOD show died almost a month later, allegedly from injuries sustained when he was thrown off the stage. Blythe‘s predicament has galvanized the heavy rock community, with artists across the hard rock genre pledging their support.
Shortly after being released from the Pankrác prison in Prague in early August, Blythe sat down with Mark Holmberg of WTVR-TV — the CBS television affiliate based in Richmond, Virginia — to discuss his 37-day stay at the notorious Czech Republic penitentiary.
Asked about his vow to go back to Prague if there is a trial, Randy said, “I feel ethically responsible to go back there and face this charge. [The victim’s] family right now is in a lot of pain, and they deserve some answers. To lose a child is the worst possible thing a human can go through, I think .. I want my name cleared. I have to go around the world and tour, you know. That’s what I do. I’m not going to hide here. I’m an innocent man. I’m going to go to court and see what happens.”
Regarding what the “worst-case scenario” is if he returns to Prague for a trial, Blythe told Metal Hammer magazine, “Ten years with no time off for good behavior. For my particular charge — we’re saying manslaughter, but it’s assault in the fourth degree with intent, resulting in the death of this young man — the sentence for that is five to 10 years with no time off. So the worst-case scenario is that get out when I’m 51, 52 years old. It’s not something I really try to dwell on too much, because it’s scary. I don’t want to go to prison, I don’t want that to happen, but the fact of the matter is it could happen. I will deal with it as it comes, that’s all! can do. If you have one foot in the past and one foot in the future, you’re pissing on the present. And right now, all! have is the present so I prepare myself the best I can. My band is behind me and my family’s behind me and we’re gonna do our best to prove my innocence. But worrying about a nebulous uncertain future, or being super-bummed out that l went to prison for 37 days does me no good.”
LAMB OF GOD‘s manager, Larry Mazer, confirmed in a statement last month that Blythe will defend himself in the case. “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. “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.”