Lamb of God singer D. Randall Blythe is back in his native Richmond, Virginia, after spending nearly five weeks in Pankrác Prison in Prague, Czech Republic.
Blythe was arrested on June 27 at an airport in Prague in connection with the 2010 death of a fan at one of the band's shows. Now back in the States, the singer released a statement on Monday (August 6) thanking friends and fans for their support and affirming that while he maintains his innocence, he will return to the Czech Republic to stand trial if he is asked to do so.
Blythe states that while in prison he was unaware of how his case was viewed outside of the Czech Republic and was overwhelmed by the support he received from fans, family and his music industry peers.
"I cannot express how emotional it made me upon my release to read about even a fraction of the voices that were raised on my behalf. From legends in my music community, to fans across the world, and even people who were previously unaware of my existence but sympathized with my plight — I am truly humbled," Blythe said. "I cannot thank you enough for your thoughts and prayers."
The singer, who reportedly began work on both a book and new music while incarcerated, asserts that he was treated fairly by officers and his fellow inmates while in Pankrác Prison.
Czech authorities charge that Blythe shoved a fan, identified only as "Daniel N.," off the stage at a 2010 Lamb of God concert at Prague's Club Abaton. The man reportedly suffered a brain hemorrhage that left him comatose; he died 14 days later as a result of his injuries. Blythe maintains his innocence and will return to the Czech Republic if he is summoned. "If it is deemed necessary for me to do so, I will return to Prague to stand trial," he said in the statement.
"While I maintain my innocence 100 percent, and will do so steadfastly, I will not hide in the United States, safe from extradition and possible prosecution," he continued. "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 charge exists, and for the family of this young man, questions remain," he continued. "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. ... I will act with honor, and I will fight to clear my good name in this matter."
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