LAMB OF GOD frontman Randy Blythe's trial on charges of manslaughter in the death of a fan at a Prague concert got underway yesterday (Monday, February 4), with day one focusing on the singer's own testimony.
Blythe is facing the possibility of conviction and a long-term jail sentence after a 2010 incident in which a fan, Daniel Nosek, attending a LAMB OF GOD show died almost a month later, allegedly from injuries sustained when he was thrown off the stage.
Back in court on Tuesday, Blythe listened to testimony from nine eyewitnesses, some of whom were friends of Nosek while others were were friends of Milan Poranek, a concertgoer whom Blythe admitted to pushing off the stage during the same show. The witnesses described Blythe's demeanor at the May 24, 2010 concert as "extremely aggressive."
"[Daniel] climbed onto the stage, he turned to the audience and was thrown into the crowd. Blythe pushed him from behind with both hands, I'm one hundred percent sure," said witness Jan Jebavý.
Another witness stated that Randy asked the crowd if Daniel was okay and when told that he was, continued the concert.
Witnesses also disputed Blythe's assertion that the band warned the audience to stay off the stage and claimed that the security at the venue made little effort to control the crowd.
According to WTVR, many of the witnesses struggled to recall the events of that concert nearly three years ago.
Blythe gave a statement on Monday in front of the three presiding judges (there are no jury trials in the Czech Republic), telling the court that he was a man of his word and had returned to face his charge, just as he promised he would.
"The death of a fan is heartbreaking," he said. "I'm not a man who runs from his problems, but I do not wish to be punished and suffer the consequences of an act I did not commit.
"I never saw Daniel and I never came in contact with him," he added in court.
Also testifying in court yesterday were LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler and the band's manager, Larry Mazer, both of whom described Blythe as quiet and well read. They also explained that Blythe's aggressive stage persona was merely a part of the show.
The trial is expected to last until the end of the week.
The parents of Daniel Nosek are demanding compensation of 10 million Czech Koruna (approximately $530,000).
Blythe was imprisoned for five weeks in the Czech Republic after being detained on June 27, 2012 when the Grammy-nominated, Richmond, Virginia-based band arrived there for a show.
The singer was freed without charge in August but had to post $400,000 bail, then left the country, vowing to return for the trial.
An audio recap of the first two days of the Blythe trial from Prague Post reporter Jonathan Crane, who is helping cover the proceedings for WTVR.com, can be found below.