Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe’s manslaughter trial resumed on Monday in Prague, where the singer stands accused of violently pushing Daniel Nosek, a teenage fan, offstage in 2010, resulting in his death. Experts testified that the singer may exhibit aggressive and asocial tendencies under stress but he does not suffer from a personality disorder, citing the results of psychological testing conducted while he was remanded in custody for five weeks last summer.
“Every one of us could in their lifetimes get into a situation in which we act without mercy, but this is not a personality trait of his,” criminal psychiatrist Alena Gayova, appointed by the defense, said of Blythe, adding that the singer tested within “normal” ranges on various stress tests even while held in a Prague jail. The presiding judge, Tomas Kubovec, said a verdict will likely be handed down tomorrow.
This evaluation of Blythe’s character somewhat contradicted an earlier assessment by a court-appointed criminal psychologist, Tereza Soukoupova, who co-authored a report on the Blythe’s mental health using “new methods” and characterized him as exhibiting histrionic and asocial (albeit not deep-rooted) tendencies.
Addressing the court only once on Monday — and the psychologist directly — Blythe said, with apparent disbelief at the assessment of his character, “When I was in jail, I was given three tests. One was with some blocks, one was looking at some pictures in a magazine as you told stories. . . and the other a Rorschach test, which is a very old test.”
The prosecution had, in previous court sessions, called witnesses who spoke of Blythe’s allegedly aggressive handling of another fan who, like Nosek, had bypassed security and taken to the stage, three times by Blythe’s count. The singer has acknowledged pinning down that man, Milan Poradek — and published photos have captured that incident — but he denies having pushed Nosek, whom defense attorneys have suggested may have instead stage-dived. On Monday, one witness who was allegedly with Nosek that night — a tall, lanky high-school girl with dyed blue hair and dressed all in black — told the court she clearly remembered seeing Blythe shove Nosek off the stage that night.
“He climbed onto the stage, and when he tried to stand up, Blythe shoved him,” said the student, Anna Rozsivalova, demonstrating how the Lamb of God frontman allegedly used both hands to vigorously push the Czech boy by the shoulders, whom she said then fell backwards into the crowd. She described the atmosphere that night at the Abaton club, housed within an old factory, as “crazy.” In February, another friend of Nosek’s reportedly described Blythe as “physically aggressive” and said he was “100 percent sure” that the singer pushed him from behind with both hands.
Nosek, 19, initially appeared unharmed, his friends and other concertgoers have previously testified, but later that night — though reportedly sober — he complained of a headache and vomited, and was rushed to hospital. The Czech teen underwent emergency surgery to reduce swelling on his brain but lapsed into a coma and died a few weeks later.
The defense has pointed to numerous similar inconsistencies within testimonies — the concert took place three years before the trial, and many witnesses during the trial have struggled to recall details. Blythe’s attorneys have also cast blame on lax security at the club for allowing the repeat incidents to occur, and bandmates and others have testified to Blythe as being well-read and mild-mannered, with any aggression displayed on stage as being all part of the show.
On Tuesday, an expert on biomechanics, called by the defense, is due to explain how Nosek may have fallen to his death. If found guilty of manslaughter, Blythe faces up to 10 years in prison; he could also be found guilty of the lesser charge of negligence, which carries a suspended sentence. Nosek’s family is also demanding the equivalent of over $500,000 in damages.