Blythe free at last

August 4, 2012

Randy Blythe has been freed from prison in the Czech Republic, a spokeswomen for the Prague Court has confirmed. He will arrive home in the United States later today (Friday).

The Lamb of God singer was arrested on June 27 in connection with the death of Daniel Nosek, a fan alleged to have sustained a fatal head injury when he invaded the stage while Blythe performed.

Blythe was never charged and posted bail of $200,000 a few days later. However, under legal proceedings in the former Soviet nation prosecutors can object to a suspect’s freedom, which happened in his case. Although objections were not accepted, his bail was raised to $400,000. This again was paid, but another objection was lodged.

The spokeswoman said Blythe’s freedom was confirmed yesterday (Thursday) after a 16-hour closed session, and there were no conditions related to his being released, except for the bail payment. He was freed later in the afternoon and boarded a flight for the US today.

It’s believed the manslaughter case will be heard in November. Experts say Blythe has a strong case in his favour.

Lab of God were last week forced to cancel a planned US tour because of doubts over whether their singer would be available. Earlier this week hardcore band Terror cancelled a tour stop in the Czech Republic as a show of support for their colleague.

Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe has vowed to return to the Czech Republic and face a manslaughter trial if he’s called.

He was set free on Thursday after five weeks in jail and arrived home in the US last night. He’d been arrested in June in connection with the 2010 death of fan Daniel Nosek at a Lamb of God concert in Prague.

Nosek died a month after the show, during which he’d rushed the stage at least three times. It’s alleged he sustained a head injury after being pushed off the platform, and that later led to the brain haemorrhage that killed him. There appears to be no evidence that the injury was sustained at the concert, or that Blythe was involved in any way.

Although never charged with any crime, prosecutors objected to his bail twice. A final 16-hour hearing saw the court overruling all protests and setting him free.

As he left the Czech Republic Blythe told a local TV station: “If it’s necessary for me to return to Prague to go to this court thing, I certainly will. I’m no flight risk.

“It’s very tragic that a young man died. I feel very bad that his family has to go through it. I feel awful for them – but it’s a tragic coincidence in my mind.

“To people who are not used to this type of music, I know it must seem crazy and violent. But that sort of activity is normal at a concert. That concert was one of literally thousands I’ve played.

“I did not know anyone was hurt. When I showed up in Prague I was very surprised to be arrested. We had no knowledge that someone had been injured, much less died.”

Blythe said his time in jail “wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly fun.” He added: “I had three meals a day, a roof over my head and clothes on my back, so I tried to be grateful. I read, wrote some new songs, exercised in my cell and talked to cellmates. I signed some autographs, but even the people who didn’t know who I was, they knew why I was there. Nobody was mean to me at all – I had no problems.”

Authorities in the Czech Republic insists they advised their US counterparts that Lamb of God were under suspicion and could face criminal investigation if they returned to the former Soviet state. But band management say they were never given that information – and would not have let the band land in Prague if they’d been in possession of the facts.

During his stopover in New York, while heading home to Richmond, Virginia, Blythe posed for a photo with a fan who came out to show her support. He reported: “This lovely young woman, Lia, came to the airport to say, ‘Randy, I’m glad you’re home.’ What a sweetheart! Her boyfriend, Gary, had to work, so we called him on his cell. We have awesome fans! Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers.”

The singer says he’ll release a full statement soon.

-Classic Rock Magazine

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