Randy Blythe of Lamb of God performs at the Long Beach Arena in 2006. (Los Angeles Times )
Lamb of God's Randy Blythe is making his first statements after being detained in Prague, Czech Republic, on suspicion of manslaughter.
The frontman of the Virginia-based metal band was being held in connection with a 2010 incident where a charging fan was thrown offstage while Blythe was performing. The fan later died.
Before being released on bail last week -- a Czech judge had previously approved his release on $200,000 bail, but the prosecution challenged the bail and he was held longer -- his band members aggressively campaigned for him.
Blythe released a lengthy statement Monday morning, largely thanking supporters, fans and peers in the music industry. He then went on to reveal details from his time behind bars in Pankrác prison, maintained his innocence and vowed to "act with honor."
"I would like state that I suffered no abuse, from either authorities or inmates, during my incarceration in Pankrác. I received no special treatment, and was in general population with everyone else -- make no mistake, it was prison, not some celebrity rehab tv show," he wrote. "But I was treated fairly by the guards and kindly by my fellow inmates. People are dying of starvation all over the world. Men and women are losing their lives daily in the Middle East and other war torn regions. I had food, clothes, shelter, and no one was trying to kill me. I cannot complain over a short stay in prison while many people elsewhere fight to survive on a daily basis."
He went on to say if necessary he will return to Prague to stand trial if he is brought up on official charges. "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. 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 statement continued. "The charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain. The worst possible pain remains. 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."
Though Blythe has yet to be officially brought up on charges, prosecutors are reportedly looking to charge him with "bodily harm of 4th degree and resulting in the death of a fan." The charge could carry a prison term of up to 10 years if convicted.
When Blythe was detained in late June, Lamb of God was forced to cancel a concert in Prague and scrap a tour with metal outfit Dethklok. Eager to get back to work, the band already has a few August dates scheduled before a planned fall U.S. tour for late October.
"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," Blythe went on to write. "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 honor, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter."