Heavy metal hitman

Steroid defense tossed, Lambesis will serve six years

Tim Lambesis at sentencing, May 16
  • Tim Lambesis at sentencing, May 16
  • Image by Bob Weatherston

Tim Lambesis, the lead singer for world famous local metalcore band As I Lay Dying, was taken away in handcuffs May 16 to start a six-year prison sentence for paying to have his wife murdered. His wife, who now goes by the name Meggan Murphy, urged the court that he get the most severe sentence possible: nine years. Murphy, who has custody of the ex-couple's three adopted children, will now pursue a $2-million lawsuit against Lambesis.

Lambesis has most recently been on house arrest in Carlsbad. He was arrested in May of 2013 and was jailed for 24 days (for which he received 48 days' credit for time served).

According to radionews.com, three of the 80 people in the San Diego Superior courtroom were former As I Lay Dying bandmates Nick Hipa, Phil Sgrosso, and Josh Gilbert. Along with fellow AILD bandmate Jordan Mancino, the four will continue on as Wovenwar with new lead singer Shane Blay. Wovenwar is signed to Metal Blade Records which just released their first single “All Rise.” A full album is due this summer.

The local metal community was rocked with the news that Mancino, Hipa, and Sgrosso are in escrow to purchase the 400-capacity Brick by Brick bar and music venue, which has been closed for four months.

What is not completely clear is any changes that may impact Lambesis Studios, the eight-year-old Escondido studio that was used to record AILD albums and subsequently attracted metal bands from New York City (Sworn Enemy), Pennsylvania (War of Ages), Salt Lake City (Chelsea Grin), Atlanta (Obsidian Sky), and Las Vegas (My Name Engraved).

Engineer Daniel Castleman was a partner with Lambesis in the studios and is credited as a major reason so many bands wanted to use the facility. In a recent email, Castleman wrote, “I still have the studio that was formerly known as Lambesis Studios,” but did not elaborate on the studio’s future.

In June of last year, Castleman posted to Facebook, “The same brutal, exciting production quality will continue on.” The facility is apparently now called Castleman Recordings, based on the email, but that name does not appear on the Internet.

Meanwhile, at Friday's hearing, Lambesis’s attorney, Tom Warwick, reportedly blamed a workout trainer who gave Lambesis the steroids for “Tim's aberrant behavior,” and that the drug “morphed” his client.

Judge Carlos Armour didn't buy it, saying that not everyone who uses steroids plots to kill their wife. Instead the judge reasoned that it was “something twisted” in Lambesis’s own character.

Ex-wife Murphy testified that she still fears for her safety. The judge said that she and the children would receive court-ordered protection for 10 years.

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Why does this sub-headline say he will serve the "max", when in fact his sentence is for six years? The "max" would have been nine years. The photo caption mentions nine years also. He was sentenced to six years.

What sub headline says "max"? One of us is having an LSD flashback. If its me, I apologize.

It was changed within an hour or two of my posting on Sunday morning.

Timothy Peter Lambesis, 33, was sentenced to six years prison, and taken away in handcuffs at the end of the sentencing hearing, which lasted nearly two hours. Meggan's father and mother spoke to the court before Meggan took her turn. All three read from prepared statements, at the start of the emotion-filled event. Meggan pleaded for a "lifetime" restraining order protecting her from Tim, but the judge ultimately issued protection that would expire in May 2024; the ten year term is the longest this journalist has witnessed.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Carlos Armour did choose what he described as "the middle term," six years in prison, instead of the maximum possible which was nine years. The judge did give his reasons for denying probation -- because technically Tim Lambesis was elibigle for no prison time at all, because he has no prior criminal record.

At the end of the hearing, Tim Lambesis rose from his seat at the attorneys' table to speak to the court, and then he turned to apologize to the woman he wanted to kill. But he was so choked with the emotion, the professional performer could hardly get the words out. He was red-faced and tearful. Seated in the gallery, Meggan stared steadily at the man she lived with for eight years, as his wife, while he thanked her for her prayers.

Why does it state that their kids are adopted? It's completely irrelevant.

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