US Embassy blanked Blythe in jail
Blanked: Randy Blythe
Randy Blythe was all but ignored by US Embassy officials in the Czech Republic during his five-week prison ordeal.
The Lamb of God singer has confirmed he was never warned he might face arrest for manslaughter in the former Soviet bloc nation – even though American officials were aware of the risk.
He says only one person from the Embassy spoke to him during his time in jail, and the conversation was unhelpful.
And he adds that his departure from Prague was overshadowed by the risk that prosecutors would find a reason to send him back behind bars.
Blythe tells Rolling Stone: “The Czech authority sent a letter to the US Justice Deparment, who told them basically where they can get off. They said, ‘No, we won’t cooperate.’
“What I’m a little bit steamed about is the fact they didn’t have the courtesy to contact me in any way, shape or form, and say, ‘Hey, you’re wanted for manslaughter in a foreign country.’
“I certainly would have appreciated a little bit more concern. I saw one person from the embassy – one. And they didn’t really do much for me. They were just like, ‘Are they torturing you?’ ‘No.’ ‘Okay, goodbye.’ I didn’t hear anything from them.”
Blythe was arrested on June 27 when Lamb of God landed in Prague to play a show there. Police charged him with the manslaughter of fan Daniel Nosek, who died a month after a concert in 2010, allegedly as a result of a head injury sustained during the show, which prosecutors say was caused by the singer.
He posted bail of $200,000, but that doesn’t guarantee release in Czech law. The amount was later doubled and paid once again, but it took a 16-hour court hearing to finally confirm his freedom.
But Blythe couldn’t relax until the plane home was in the air. He explains: “I left the country legally, but I was kind of fleeing at the same time. If the prosecutor had found out I was out, and had time, he could have requested my incarceration on different grounds.
“I sat at the terminal, really sweating it pretty hard – then I was in the air.”
Although charged by police, he was never charged by state prosecutors, meaning he’s unsure how a trial might proceed if it takes place. But he’s repeated his vow to return to Prague and face the court.
“They want to give me five to ten years, so naturally, there’s come trepidation,” he admits. “But that has nothing to do with the fact that it’s the right thing for me to do – if only from the ethical viewpoint that this young man’s family is sitting there with a lot of questions still.”