SAN DIEGO - 10News spoke with a close friend of local Christian singer Tim Lambesis, who is preparing to face charges on Thursday in connection with a murder-for-hire plot against his own wife.
A local criminal defense attorney told 10News what As I Lay Dying frontman Lambesis has been charged with, solicit to commit murder , is the same as being charged with attempted first-degree murder and punishable by life in prison if convicted.
Lambesis' arrest on Tuesday afternoon became national news, quickly spreading like wildfire across social media and around the music world.
"I was like this can't be this just doesn't make any sense," said musician Joel Piper, who spoke with 10News by phone Wednesday night.
He sent 10News a photo of himself and Lambesis from an interview after a concert in November.
Both are Christians.
"His faith is a big part of his life and that reflects in his music," said Piper.
Piper said he has always looked at Lambesis as his mentor.
"He's someone I've looked up to and we've had the same circle of friends for years," said Piper. "I've modeled a lot of how I do things with music, with business after watching him. His life is so devoted to helping others and helping people in need. He has three adopted kids from Ethiopia and he goes out there all the time to help the kids."
On Wednesday, members of As I Lay Dying minus Lambesis posted the following message to fans on their Facebook page, which is liked by nearly 2 million people:
To our fans,
As we post this, the legal process is taking its course and we have no more information than you do. There are many unanswered questions, and the situation will become clearer in the coming days and weeks. We'll keep you informed as best we can.
Our thoughts right now are with Tim, his family, and with everyone else affected by this terrible situation - and with our fans, whom we love and draw strength from.
Thank you for understanding, and as always, for your support of As I Lay Dying.
- Jordan, Nick, Phil, and Josh
Piper said, "On stage, he does his thing but in real life, he's such a calm person. Everyone would agree he's very mellow and very smart ad very wise. He's such a loving person and he is such a well-thought and wise person. He's not the type of person that lashes out."
Lambesis is scheduled to be arraigned at the Vista courthouse on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
10News will bring you the latest developments on evening editions of 10News and on 10News.com.