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Lead singer of Christian heavy metal band sentenced for soliciting murder

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VISTA (CNS) - The lead singer of the Christian heavy metal band As I Lay Dying was sentenced today to six years in state prison for paying an undercover agent, who was posing as a hitman, to kill the singer's estranged wife.

Tim Lambesis, 33, pleaded guilty in February to a felony murder solicitation charge and had faced up to nine years behind bars.

The victim, Meggan Murphy, and her parents unsuccessfully sought to convince Judge Carlos Armour to give Lambesis the maximum term.

She told the judge that the defendant "has followers who will do anything on his behalf," and that "the question of who else Tim talked to or will talk to about killing me will forever haunt me."

Her mother, June Murphy, said there is an "underlying fear that still invades our everyday lives."

Defense attorney Thomas Warwick asked that his client be given probation, arguing that steroids Lambesis was taking at the time he solicited the murder affected his physiology and mental state.

In handing down the mid-term sentence, the judge noted the defendant's claim that his actions were the result of steroid use.

"Whether it was a result of steroids, I don't know," Armour said. "The thing is that there's a lot of men who use steroids who never engage in trying to hire someone to kill their spouses. And there's a lot of men who have engaged someone to kill their spouses who have never used steroids. So I can't say that one necessarily goes with the other.

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