SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Tim Lambesis, lead singer for the heavy metal band As I Lay Dying, has been arrested over accusations he sought the help of an undercover detective to have his estranged wife killed, police said.
Lambesis was taken into custody on Tuesday in Oceanside, California, after he solicited help in the scheme from the undercover detective, said San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell.
Police had previously learned Lambesis was seeking someone who could commit the slaying, Caldwell said.
"The information came to us late last week. We acted quickly on it. I believe that we averted a great tragedy," she said.
Caldwell said the ongoing investigation prevented her from disclosing any details about why Lambesis might have wanted to have his estranged wife killed or how police first learned about what they described as his murder plan.
A representative for the As I Lay Dying's record label, Metal Blade, could not immediately be reached for comment. It was unclear if Lambesis had an attorney.
The band's 2007 album "An Ocean Between Us" debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200 list, and ranks as one of their top-selling releases. Last year, As I Lay Dying put out its sixth album "Awakened."
Lambesis is a founding member of the band, which was formed in San Diego.
As I Lay Dying has at times been described in the media as a Christian group, but Lambesis said this year in an interview with heavy metal website Noisecreep that group members wanted "to be judged on the music" rather than their "personal beliefs."
Lambesis is expected to appear in court for an arraignment on Wednesday or Thursday. A spokesman for the San Diego District Attorney's Office could not be reached for comment.
(Reporting by Marty Graham in San Diego, Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Philip Barbara)