Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe has returned to the US after being released on bail from Prague last week.
As previously reported, Blythe was arrested and charged with manslaughter when the band arrived in Prague to play a gig in the city at the end of June. The charge relates to the death of a fan following a performance in the Czech capital two years ago. According to reports, the fan, named only as Daniel N, climbed onto the stage several times during the show, and on the third occasion was allegedly pushed off by Blythe, and fell onto his head, sustaining injuries that led to his death.
Blythe posted bail a few days after his arrest. However, the prosecution challenged his release, saying that he was likely to attempt to flee the country. A judge ruled that he would stay in jail for at least another ten days while this was assessed. Over a month later he was finally allowed to leave the prison last Friday – though only after the amount of money he needed to pay was doubled from four million to eight million Czech Koruna (approximately £260,000).
Back in his home town of Richmond, Virginia yesterday, Blythe issued a statement thanking those who had supported him while he was jail (revealing that it was only when he returned to America that he learned the extent of this), and saying that he had been treated well by prison authorities.
He added that if asked, he will return to the Czech Republic to face trial, saying: “While I maintain my innocence 100%, and will do so steadfastly, I will NOT hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution”.
He then turned to the family of his alleged victim: “As I write this, the family of a fan of my band suffers through the indescribably tragic loss of their child. They have to deal with constantly varying media reports about the circumstances surrounding his death. I am charged with maliciously causing severe bodily harm to this young man, resulting in his death. 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. The worst possible pain remains”.
He continued: “It is fairly common knowledge amongst fans of my band that I once lost a child as well. I, unfortunately, am intimately familiar with what their pain is like. Therefore, I know all too well that in their time of grief, this family needs and deserves some real answers, not a media explosion followed by the accused killer of their son hiding like a coward thousands of miles away while they suffer. I am a man. I was raised to face my problems head on, not run from them like a petulant child. I hope that justice is done, and the family of Daniel N will receive the closure they undoubtedly need to facilitate healing”.
Finally, he wrote: “I feel VERY STRONGLY that as an adult, it would be both irresponsible and immoral for me not to return to Prague if I am summoned. This is not about bail money. This is about a young man who lost his life. I will act with honour, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter”.
Read Randy Blythe’s full statement here.