As the lead singer of a Richmond-based heavy metal band waits in a Czech Republic jail, he's getting a lot of support from fans at home. More than a hundred people endured scorching temperatures Sunday afternoon to support Randy Blythe of the band Lamb of God during a rally on Brown's Island.
The band's lead singer is accused of pushing a crazed fan off the stage during a 2010 Prague concert. The 19-year-old's injuries ultimately lead to his death, according to Czech authorities. Despite posting $200,000 bail, Blythe remains behind bars and faces an uncertain fate for himself and his band.
Fans who showed up in the103 degree heat say Lamb of God shows are known for their intensity, both by the band and the crowd.
"People want to get on stage. They want to have a moment with the band members...some sort of experience," described Lamb of God fan Andrew Meisenheimer.
That experience turned deadly for the young man, who supporters say jumped the stage three times during the concert. Grainy YouTube video shows what could be the moment in question, where Blythe is accused of "throwing" the man from the stage. The man is seen propelled off the stage with Blythe's arm following him along. A security guard is also seen in the mix during the incident. However, it is difficult to make out exactly what happened, or how much force was used, if at all. The video also shows the man, believed to be the same fan, getting ejected from the stage in two other instances during the show.
"This kid did a badly, poorly executed stage dive that led him to injure himself, which unfortunately led to him dying. They're trying to blame Randy for it, and it's just completely ridiculous," said Dave Brockie, lead singer of Gwar, and friend of Blythe's and his band.
Brockie's sentiments were shared by many fans making YouTube videos and signing posters for Blythe.
"He goes out of his way to do very nice things for people for no reason, and he's just a good guy, and he doesn't deserve this," said Berkley McDaniel, a fan and friend of Blythe.
Police in Prague confronted the band June 27th. Lamb of God was scheduled to perform. However, Blythe was charged with manslaughter instead. The group says they were completely blindsided.
"They were totally shocked...You have a job scheduled and then you're ambushed by police," said Harry Hopkins, father-in-law to one of the band members.
However, Blythe's base is turning up the volume on their support. Several thousand fans have responded to Lamb of God's Facebook pages, as well as an online petition intended for the White House.
The band expressed sincere gratitude for the many people who showed up Sunday. The Czech judge is expected to make a decision about Blythe's bail Monday, according to family members of the band.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.
WWBT-TV NBC 12
P.O. Box 12
On Your Side
Video and Pics