The manslaughter trial of Lamb Of God’s frontman has begun in the Czech Republic, with Randy Blythe pleading not guilty to the charges against him at the first day of the proceedings.
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 last year. The charge relates to the death of a fan after an earlier performance by Lamb Of God in the Czech capital two years earlier. According to reports, at that gig 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 later led to his death.
Blythe was jailed for more than a month after his arrest last year, but was eventually bailed and allowed to return to the US. Though he pledged throughout to return to face the charges and clear his name. And, according to the NME, speaking to KROQ ahead of his trial this week, Blythe said: “I said that I would come back to court today and I did. I do not shy away from responsibility. I’m not a person who runs away from problems. But I do not want to be punished for something I did not do”.
Various witnesses who attended the gig in question have already given testimony in the trial. According to reports, there are some inconsistencies in the various accounts of the night given so far, both in how the fan came to be knocked off the stage, and Blythe’s subsequent reaction (one version is that the frontman asked for confirmation that the fan was OK before proceeding with the gig). At least one witness is quoted as saying Blythe was “extremely aggressive” while performing.
Though Blythe himself has warned people following English-language coverage of the trial to be wary of reports, saying that much of it is based on dubious translations of testimonies given in Czech. He also cautioned Lamb Of God fans from venting online against the Czech Republic and those giving testimonies in the trial.
Blythe writes via Instagram: “I have read a few news reports of the progress of my case, and trust me – many things are incorrect. But this is the internet, and of course things are half-baked anyway. Keep in mind that translation is difficult, and many things can be lost, for Czech is a VERY DIFFICULT language. So wait and see, as I am. It is all I can do, except be honest and fight for my freedom in my own way”.
He continues: “I also have heard of some people talking smack about the Czech Republic, saying ‘Fuck the Czech Republic’, etc. That’s not how it should be. This is a very sad case, not something to rage at people you do not know over. I am not angry with the Czechs at all. A fan of my band is dead – what do I have to be angry about? I am an INNOCENT man, but I am also a very sad man right now. To not be sad in this instance would be inhuman”.