VISTA - Timothy Lambesis, the lead singer of a San Diego-based heavy-metal band, pleaded guilty Tuesday to solicitation of murder.
Lambesis, front man and co-founder of the heavy metal group As I Lay Dying, was arrested at an Oceanside bookstore last May after allegedly asking an undercover detective to kill his estranged wife, Meggan, according to sheriff's officials.
Lambesis, 32, faces a maximum sentence of nine years and a $10,000 fine.
The suspect's wife, an Encinitas resident, filed for divorce in 2012, Billboard magazine reported. The couple had adopted three children from Ethiopia together in recent years, according to the music-industry publication.
Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso said that Lambesis originally approached someone in a gym and asked if he knew anyone who would kill his wife.
Later Lambesis met with the undercover agent posing as a hit man -- code name "Red" -- according to Grasso.
"Red" asked Lambesis if he wanted his wife of eight years gone, and the defendant replied, "I don't want to see her ever again." When specifically asked, "Do you want her dead?" He said, "Yes, that's exactly what I want," the prosecutor said.
Grasso said Lambesis gave the undercover agent an envelope containing $1,000, pictures of his wife, her address and the code to get through a gate. Lambesis also gave the agent dates when the "hit" could take place -- days when he had his children, saying that would be his alibi, according to the prosecutor.
As I Lay Dying's most recent release, last year's "Awakened," debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard charts. The band's previous two albums opened at Nos. 10 and 8, respectively.
The Grammy-nominated group, which has been described as a "Christian band" due to its lyrics and self-professed religious beliefs, has released six studio records and sold more than 1 million albums with Metal Blade Records.