Ladies and gentlemen, Randy Blythe is a free man. Today, March 5th, 2013, he was acquitted of manslaughter charges in the Czech Republic, a three-judge panel delivering a not guilty verdict. The trial took six days in total, 4 days in February and an additional 2 days this week. Blythe had been held on suspicion of manslaughter in June of 2012 for his alleged role in the death of a nineteen year old fan, Daniel Nosek, who fell from the stage during a Lamb of God show in 2010. To that end, Blythe spent 5 weeks in a Czech prison last summer before he was released under the condition that he would return to the Czech Republic when it came time for his trial. And, bravely, Blythe returned last month.
Before the verdict was handed down today, Blythe spoke to the courtroom: “I know I did not hurt or want to hurt anybody that night. I can understand the pain that the family of Daniel is experiencing. Daniel was a fan of my band. I had no wish to harm him. He was just a boy and I wish he was still here. If ultimately the Czech legal system sentences me to prison, I will do my sentence like a man. I have searched for an answer to this situation, the only one I can find to this tragic and horrible accident.”
Unfortunately, the State Attorney has up to 8 days to appeal the ruling and some are speculating that he will do that. We’re not certain what would occur should that happen, Czech laws obviously differing from our laws in the States.
Randy posted the following message on his Instagram account before appearing in court today:
“It’s a beautiful morning in Prague, & time for me to go to what is (hopefully) my final day in court here- supposedly judgement will be passed today & I will move on with my life in one direction or the other. Which direction that is, I do not know. I could walk free, or conversely go to prison for up to ten years. Such is my life right now, & I must stay in this moment until its resolution. Whatever happens to me, do not feel sorry for me, for I am at peace & refuse to feel sorry for myself. Life happens. Deal with it. Some people cannot understand why I have returned, saying I should not come back here. KNOW THIS, & mark my words well- it would be absolutely intolerable for me to hide from this situation. I am an innocent man, but a family suffers the loss of a son, a fan of my band. That is what this whole thing is truly about, not prison, not money, not politics, not ME- it is about a young man who lost his life at just 19 years of age. He will never come back, & it breaks my heart. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I did not behave honorably & try to give his family some answers. That would be disgraceful, and I do not wish to dishonor myself or my family by acting in such a cowardly manner. I was raised to face my problems head on. For me, this is BEING A MAN. I categorically refuse to live in a constant state of guilt & fear. I would rather die. My morality & convictions are not dependent upon unforeseeable circumstance, nor malleable when difficulty arises. So I walk this morning to court with my head held high, no matter what others opinions of me may be. I have to face myself in the mirror, & tomorrow morning, where ever I may wake up, I will be able to do that without regret. This is THE ONLY path to true freedom for me- peace within myself. This is the manner in which I choose to try my best to live my life, & I hope you all do the same- do your best to do what is right, no matter how difficult it may be. I promise you, this will bring you peace. I thank you all for your support, I wish you all a good day, & to quote one of my favorite movies: STRENGTH AND HONOR.”
Blythe returned to Instagram after the ruling with the following post and the photo appearing below:
“I have been found not guilty & acquitted of all charges against me. I am a free man. This photo was taken by my friend @aceyslade- it says it all. Please remember the family of Daniel Nosek in your thoughts & prayers in this difficult time. I only wish for them peace. Thank you for your support- Randy”