According to the San Diego Reader, AS I LAY DYING singer Tim Lambesis is due in court at the end of this week — more than two months after being arrested on suspicion of soliciting the murder of his estranged wife. He will appear at the North County Superior Courthouse in Vista, California before Judge Kimberlee Lagotta at 1:30 p.m. PT on Friday, August 2.
The attorney for Lambesis, 32, "is expected to request return of certain items seized by law enforcement during their investigation," writes the San Diego Reader regarding this week's court date. "A judge will rule on what personal belongings, if any, will be returned to defendant Lambesis before his preliminary hearing, which is currently set for September. The divorce from his wife Meggan may be finalized by that time."
Lambesis or his agent paid $160,000 in fees as a "premium" to All-Pro Bail Bonds (described as "California's fastest-growing retail bail agency") on May 30 and was released the same day from Vista jail, in Northern San Diego County. The singer spent twenty-four days in custody after his arrest.
Lambesis had his bail lowered from $3 million to $2 million during a May 17 bail review hearing.
Prosecutors initially requested that Superior Court Judge Martin Staven set Lambesis' bail at $20 million, saying the singer remains "substantially motivated to kill his wife."
Lambesis' defense attorney, Tom Warwick, had asked for bail of $250,000.
Warwick blamed Lambesis' steroid use for the alleged murder-for-hire plot. He also revealed that Lambesis was going through steroid withdrawal while in custody.
Lambesis' attorney said the "gym culture" led to "changes in [the singer's] physiological and mental status," with Tim's bodybuilding obsession causing him to go from 170 to 220 pounds after first taking supplements, then steroids. "[He] was not the same person. He was irritable and lost God."
Prosecutors allege Lambesis had twice told a man at a gym that he wanted his wife killed, then met with an undercover detective known as "Red", and gave the agent an envelope containing $1,000 in cash, photographs of his wife, and the security gate code to her house. He also allegedly told the agent the dates he would be with the couple's three adopted children, in order to give himself an alibi.
"When specifically asked do you want her dead, he said, 'Yes that's exactly what I want,'" Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso told the judge. "The victim now is terrified and living in seclusion."
In court, Grasso said that Lambesis did not flinch when told the hit on his wife would cost $20,000. "He was very willing to pay that," she said, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Lambesis, who was originally booked into jail on suspicion of two felonies — conspiracy and murder-for-hire — was ordered to wear a GPS monitor and turn in his passport and was warned by the judge that he must stay away from his immediate family. The conspiracy charge was dropped before Lambesis was arraigned.
Tim's wife Meggan filed papers in September 2012 in San Diego Superior Court seeking a dissolution of the couple's marriage.