Czech prosecutors have formally filed indictment papers with the Prague Municipal Court in the manslaughter case against Lamb Of God frontman Randy Blythe. The court now has three months to set a date for his trial or return the case to prosecutors for further investigation.
Blythe was arrested and charged with manslaughter when he and his band arrived in Prague to play a gig in the city at the end of June on charges relating to the death of a fan, named as Daniel N, following a performance in the Czech capital two years ago. The fan is said to have climbed onto the stage a number of times during the show, and on the third occasion was allegedly pushed back off by Blythe, falling onto his head and sustaining injuries that led to his death.
After being initially denied bail, Blythe is now back in the US having been on bail of eight million Czech Koruna (approximately £260,000). At the time of his release he said "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 faces a prison sentence if convicted.
Lamb Of God's manager Larry Mazer yesterday issued a statement on the latest development in the case, saying: "After a three month investigation, the prosecutor in the Czech Republic has decided to move forward with an indictment of Randy Blythe on the charge of manslaughter with intent to cause bodily harm. Obviously, we intend to fight vigorously against these charges as we feel that in no way did Randy intend to cause bodily harm on the young fan who subsequently died from injuries sustained at the show. As he has stated previously, Randy intends to go to Prague to defend himself at trial".
He added: "While it is a tragedy that a Lamb of God fan died following a performance by the group, in no way do I feel that Randy did anything improper that led to the young man's injuries and subsequent death. The price of a ticket to a show does not entitle audience members access to a band's stage. In the years since the murder on stage of Dimebag Darrell Abbott, performers of all genres have had to become more guarded while performing, in response to the dangers presented by fans trying to become part of the performance. We believe that Randy responded professionally to the numerous amount of fans rushing the stage that day, a number of them captured on videos that have been posted on the internet. We have testimony from the venue operator that acknowledges lax security and an improper barricade being used that evening. Numerous testimonies from fans also were contradictory as to the actions of the multiple fans that tried to access the stage".
He concluded: "At this point, all that the band, myself, and our lawyers can do is to present a defence and try to convince the panel of judges who will hear the case that Randy is innocent of all charges and that his name and reputation need to be cleared and that he be permitted to carry on with his life and career always mindful that a fan passed away after a Lamb Of God performance".