Former Mest singer Tony Lovato, 26, was arrested and jailed on suspicion of murder in Los Angeles on Sunday after police said he confessed to the fatal stabbing of a man linked to his ex-girlfriend.
Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Lieutenant Alan Hamilton would not name the victim, but media reports identified him as 25-year-old Wayne Hughes, who Hamilton said had also been previously involved in a relationship with Lovato's ex.
According to Hamilton, Lovato called 911 and said, "I've been involved in a fight and can you come here," after he got into an altercation with Hughes in the parking garage of a Studio City apartment complex. During the fight Lovato allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Hughes in the chest several times, then returned to the apartment to call police. Hamilton could not say what the dispute was over, but said, "it was not two guys fighting over a woman." He also said, "the female was involved" in the deadly altercation, but could not elaborate due to the ongoing investigation. Hughes was transported to Holy Cross Hospital and pronounced dead on arrival.
Lovato was being held on $1 million bail after being treated for unspecified injuries at a local hospital. He told police that he was assaulted earlier in the day by Hughes in the underground parking lot of the apartment complex. Police had been summoned to the apartment the night before, according to Hamilton, in response to a call for help for an incident that involved the woman and Lovato, though officers determined no crime was committed and the parties went their separate ways. Police advised the woman to seek their assistance if she decided to return to the apartment, but Hamilton said she ignored that advice and returned to the apartment with a female friend. Hughes was not involved in that incident.
"They were both involved in a relationship with the common female, but they were not currently involved [with her] and we're still investigating what their links and involvement was in terms of their direct relationship to the woman," Hamilton said. The men did not have a business relationship, according to Hamilton.
Lovato was the lead singer of the Chicago pop-punk band Mest, who formed in the mid-'90s and released four albums on Madonna's Maverick Records imprint. Their final album, Photograph, was released in the fall of 2005 and included the lead single, "Kiss Me, Kill Me," written by guitarist/singer Jeremiah Rangel, which, according to the band's Maverick bio, "follows a tumultuous relationship." The band announced their breakup after a final 2005 tour entitled "So Long and Thanx for the Booze."
Lovato announced on Mest's MySpace page in October that he had formed a new band called A Permanent Holiday. "Quit trying to belong," Lovato wrote to Mest fans, urging them to give his new group a chance. "Don't worry about people accepting you, cuz you have to accept yourself first. In reality that's really all we are all trying for — to be content."