(OCEANSIDE, Calif.) — As I Lay Dying lead singer Tim Lambesis is set to appear in court on Tuesday, weeks after his lawyer linked the rocker’s steroid use to his alleged attempt to arrange the murder of his estranged wife.
Lambesis, 32, was arrested May 7 in Oceanside, Calif., and charged with soliciting the murder of his wife Meggan Lambesis, who resides in Encinitas, Calif. Tim Lambesis remains behind bars on $2 million bail and has pleaded not guilty.
Thomas Warwick, the rocker’s lawyer, blamed steroids, saying Lambesis was mentally unstable when he asked an undercover detective to kill his wife. He said Lambesis’ thoughts were “devastatingly affected” by the drugs.
“His thought process was dramatically impacted by the steroid use,” Warwick said in a Vista, Calif., courtroom on May 17 during a bail hearing.
Once Lambesis began working out, the steroid use began and the singer known for his head-banging music with a Christian twist lost his faith in God, Warwick said.
Prosecutors don’t buy the “roid rage” defense and say the singer knew exactly what he was doing and his estranged wife now lives in fear.
“She is living petrified, not knowing, ‘Can I come out, who else is out there?'” Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso said.
A 2008 video of Lambesis on the television show L.A. Ink shows a much skinnier body compared with a 2013 video of the rocker working out in the gym on his personal YouTube page.
“Anabolic steroids lead to an increase of testosterone hormone in blood, but it is very complex and it is not a direct cause-and-effect scenario,” ABC News senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton said.
Authorities began investigating Lambesis about a week prior to his arrest after they said they got word he was allegedly trying to find someone to kill his wife at a local gym. Grasso said Lambesis later met with the undercover agent posing as a hit man and gave him $1,000 and instructions on how best to kill his wife.
Meggan Lambesis served her rocker husband with divorce papers in September 2012, according to court records. The couple has three adopted children from Ethiopia.
Tim Lambesis is a founding member of the metalcore band that formed in 2000 in San Diego. As I Lay Dying’s 2007 album An Ocean Between Us hit number 8 on the Billboard 200, and no. 1 on the Top Rock chart. The group was nominated for a 2008 Grammy Award for the song “Nothing Left” from the album. The band has released six albums.
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Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Sandee LaMotte, CNN