Randy Blythe cleared of manslaughter charges
Lamb of God front man acquitted by Prague Municipal Court
Posted: March 6, 2013
Randy Blythe sits locked in concentration during his manslaughter trial at Prague Municipal Court. A panel of three judges exonerated him of all charges March 5.
Lamb of God front man Randy Blythe has been found not guilty of manslaughter following the death of a 19-year-old fan, Daniel N., at a Prague concert in 2010. A panel of three judges at Prague Municipal Court acquitted Blythe of all charges March 5, saying the singer's actions couldn't be considered a crime.
State Attorney Vladimír Mužík immediately appealed the verdict, meaning for the moment at least, it is not yet final. Mužík now has eight days to file an official complaint to the High Court, which will examine the judges' decision. He also objected to the return of bail.
Blythe was accused of throwing Daniel N. off the stage during Lamb of God's concert at Club Abaton nearly three years ago. The teenager later died in hospital due to the injuries sustained from his fall. Earlier in the trial, Daniel N.'s official cause of death was given as pneumonia brought on by a blow to the brainstem.
However, addressing a court room packed with family members and journalists, presiding Judge Tomáš Kubovec ruled Blythe did not harm the young fan intentionally. Kubovec found that while there was enough evidence to show the 42-year-old had pushed Daniel N. from the stage, the main share of the blame should lie with the concert promoter, who didn't adhere to the band's security demands.
Earlier, Mužík had sought a five-year prison sentence for Blythe, telling judges Daniel N.'s death was a result of the front man being careless. He described Daniel N. as a "normal, ordinary 19-year-old boy who just wanted to meet his idols." Mužík added that Daniel N.'s mother, who sobbed throughout proceedings, hasn't been able to come to terms with her bereavement and needs psychiatric treatment.
The family had demanded 10 million Kč ($530,000/395,000 euros) in damages, which Kubovec says they must now try to claim through the civil courts. However, Daniel N.'s uncle - representing the family - said no amount of money would bring the teenager back, adding they were looking for some kind of closure.
In their summing up, Blythe's defense team cast doubt on the reliability of some witness accounts and reiterated what they have been arguing all along: that the singer had trusted security guards at the venue to prevent the audience from getting onstage. "This failed," lawyer Tomáš Gřivna said.
Before Kubovec delivered the verdict, Blythe was given the final word. He told the court he wouldn't have pleaded his innocence if he felt he was guilty. "My conscience will not allow this," he said. The front man added he believed he had "acted reasonably to protect myself, my band, my equipment and our audience."
Most poignantly, the singer expressed his sympathies to Daniel N.'s family. "I would like to thank [them] for not attacking me in the press and for their kind words in court today," he said, his voice starting to crack. "[Daniel N.] was a fan of my band. He was just a boy, and I wish he was still here."
Jonathan Crane can be reached at