True to his word, Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe has returned to Prague to face trial for his alleged role in the death of a 19-year-old Czech fan at a 2010 Lamb of God concert. The prosecution claims the fan died of head injuries sustained due to Blythe pushing him off the Prague venue's stage, but Blythe pleaded not guilty to the involuntary manslaughter charges Monday in court.
Although Blythe admitted to pushing the concertgoer after he repeatedly tried to climb onstage, the metal singer claimed he watched the fan stand up after being shoved off stage. According to Czech media, the fan died of head injuries two weeks later.
If convicted, the Lamb of God frontman could face 10 years in prison. The family of the deceased Czech fan is seeking the equivalent of a half million U.S. dollars in damages.
Blythe dismissed the validity of the charges last August, but released a statement explaining why he is risking imprisonment by returning to Prague to face trial.
"While I consider the charge leveled against me ludicrous and without qualification, my opinion makes no difference in this matter. The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain," Blythe wrote. "This is about a young man who lost his life. I will act with honor, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter."
The metal community has rallied behind Blythe ever since he was held behind bars by Czech authorities in June 2012 (he was eventually released on bail). Everyone from Slash to Anthrax's Scott Ian to Sebastian Bach have voiced their support for the Lamb of God singer.
Disturbed frontman David Draiman put this incident in the context of the 2004 onstage murder of Pantera/Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell, who was shot by an audience member during a concert in Ohio. "You have to understand that ever since Dimebag Darrell was assaulted, shot, and murdered on stage by a 'fan,' all of us have been very defensive/cautious of anyone jumping up on stage," Draiman said. "I'm not saying that it's OK, or justified, or anything like that, only that it's an unfortunate/tragic set of circumstances. I know Randy's intention was not to kill the kid."