What do we make of Randy Blythe’s arrest?

I’m the last one in the world to write about this, apparently.

As you and everyone else who even remotely follows metal news knows, Lamb of God vocalist Randy Blythe was arrested in the Czech Republic on charges of manslaughter, for allegedly causing the death of a person at a LOG concert in 2010.

Allegedly, a 19 year-old man identified only as Daniel N. had jumped on the stage during an April 24 concert in Prague. Blythe is accused of pushing Daniel N., causing him to fall; Daniel N. died of bleeding in the brain 14 days later.

Blythe paid a bond equivalent to $200,000 U.S. dollars, but has yet to be released from jail.

There is footage online that purports to be from the concert. At one point in the footage, Blythe and a member of the venue’s security seem to be pushing a man off the stage — but the man also appears to be jumping into the audience. Look for yourself.

From the footage, the man appears to have been on the stage more than once. The footage — if indeed it is from the Prague concert — shows the man attempting to get up on stage and falling off, apparently being injured in the process (the video shows the man wallowing on the floor; disturbingly, no moves to help him).

The band apparently received enough inquiries from fans that a legal defense fund has been launched. If your interested, you can donate here.

The band released a statement earlier today, through their publicists:

First of all, thanks to everyone who has reached out in support of Randy and each of us in this terrible situation.  It’s noted and very much appreciated.

We have been keeping our heads down and not speaking out due to the fluid nature of the situation and the constantly changing information that even we receive daily. 

Within an hour things can do endless 180’s. It’s maddening to try and make heads or tails.

We’re taking the time to speak to you as it has been a significant period of time since this situation began and while nothing is immediately clear to any of us, we are not trying to keep anyone in the dark.

We have reached out and are making use of the resources we have acquired to help our brother who is still detained in Czech jail.

In the two years since, we were never notified of anything related to this incident.

Randy is our brother and we assure you, we are all staying very positive for him, working endlessly behind the scenes to provide any and all assistance possible.

The best we can do is to stay positive and continue to support our friend that we know is innocent.

We know that justice will prevail and we will continue to do our part to support our friend.

LAMB OF GOD

It’s hard to know what to make of both the sketchy information coming from Prague police, or from the flood of quite possibly wrong chatter on the Web. What is odd, certainly, is the band’s statement that they received no word of the charges until Blythe’s arrest.

Granted, investigations take time … but surely the medical examiner knew the cause of Daniel N.’s death within a few weeks of the day he died. If blunt force trauma was the likely cause, why did police officials wait? Has the band not been back to the Czech Republic since April 2010? Where police officials afraid they would be unable to extradite Blythe if they filed charges while Blythe was in the United States?

The issue of bail is confusing as well; Blythe posted bail days ago, yet he’s still in jail. What’s the point of bail, if a person can be held for several more days?

Manslaughter is defined as when a person wantonly causes the death of another person, or causes the death of a person while intentionally meaning to harm that person. In other words, a person can be charged with manslaughter if he meant to cause harm, but not death, and the victim died — or if a person acted in reckless disregard to a person’s safety when he committed an act that was likely to result in serious injury or death.

But that’s just Kentucky’s definition; the definition is different from state to state — I couldn’t find the Czech Republic’s definition of manslaughter, so who knows how they define it there? If you know, please tell me.

While it would be nice to jump on the “Free Randy Blythe” bandwagon currently being championed by sites such as MetalSucks, the information is simply too vague for me to say Blythe is innocent. Maybe he is, but I can’t tell from a bleary video; the police and prosecutor must think they have enough to level a charge — and I think it’s safe to say the charge isn’t some kind of anti-metal witch hunt. Some has suggested it’s a shakedown, but listen: The Czech Republic is not so broke that they have to charge and fleece rockers out of $200,000. That’s simply not logical.

I’m interested in what other people think, but personally, I haven’t seen enough to make a determination. If you’re honest about it, you haven’t seen enough, either. The legal system will get to the truth, in time. It’s frustrating to have to wait, but we should let the process run its course without jumping to conclusions, one way or the other.

In the end, the incident is simply tragic. It’s sad a boy is dead and we all wish it hadn’t happened. It’s also sad for Blythe’s friends and family, who have to wait anxiously while this matter is investigated by the police. I personally hope the man is not guilty — and I certainly don’t think Blythe meant to hurt or kill anyone.

But what I think doesn’t matter; all that’s important now is finding out what happened and acting only according to those facts. A boy is dead; if someone is responsible (other than himself), that person must pay.

Time will tell. We’ll stay tuned until then.