Blythe acquitted in fan’s death

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, March 5, 2013

PRAGUE, Czech Republic—A former Franklin resident and front man of the Richmond-based heavy metal band Lamb of God has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the death of a 19-year-old in the Czech Republic.

Randy Blythe, who lived on Barrett Street and attended S.P. Morton Elementary School, Hayden Middle School and Franklin High School before moving to Chesapeake, faced up to 10 years in prison.

Blythe, 41, was accused of pushing the man from the stage during a 2010 concert at Prague’s Abaton club. The man later died from pneumonia caused by a brain stem injury, and Blythe was arrested in June.

During the trial, a young man testified that he had been on the stage repeatedly that day, and Blythe wrestled him to the floor. Another man, who came forth voluntarily, testified that he did not see Blythe do anything inappropriate.

Blythe’s father, Hunterdale native Wayne Blythe of Chesapeake, attended his son’s trial in February and planned to return to Prague when the trial resumed on Monday. The trial was continued in February at the request of the defense because one witness was ill, and there were plans to hear testimony from a few expert witnesses.

Represented by Czech and American lawyers, Randy Blythe testified, made an opening statement and questioned witnesses. He indicated he had no memory of pushing the dead man from the stage.