U.S. Singer Acquitted in Fan’s Death by Czech Court

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, March 5, 2013, Randy Blythe, a singer in the heavy metal band, Lamb of God, was acquitted of manslaughter charges in a Czech Republic court. Last December, Bltyhe was formally charged with causing the death of a fan after he pushed the fan who rushed the stage during a 2010 show. The fan, 19 year-old Daniel Nosek, fell from the stage and hit his head on the concrete floor. He died from his injuries several weeks later.

Blythe did not learn of Nosek’s death until police arrested him at the Prague airport in June 2012 when the band arrived for a concert. He was then held in jail for five weeks before being released on bail because he promised to return for his trial and fight the charges.

At trial, Blythe was facing a possible sentence of up to ten years in prison. He admitted to pushing Nosek, but he did not think that Nosek was harmed. Also at trial, the prosecution had concertgoers testify that Blythe violently pushed Nosek off the stage but there were discrepancies about how the fan got over the security barrier or how he was actually pushed which helped create reasonable doubt. The judge ruled that Blythe’s actions did not constitute a crime with no further explanation of the verdict being immediately available. The prosecution appealed the acquittal.

Blythe released a statement after his acquittal stating, “I am an innocent man, but a family suffers the loss of a son, a fan of my band. That is what this whole thing is truly about, not prison, not money, not politics, not ME- it is about a young man who lost his life at just 19 years of age.”

This is such a sad ordeal. A fan lost his life at a concert held by one of his favorite bands. I understand why the prosecution will continue to fight for Nosek’s unfortunate death but I do not believe that Blythe should be to blame. I am sure most of us have seen some crazy fans at concerts. I know I have seen some artists either push or move fans out of the way when they somehow get up on stage. Blythe was probably just trying to protect himself while trying to continue his performance. He did not have the state of mind that he wanted to kill this fan, or even hurt him. I feel awful for Nosek’s family but I agree with the Court’s decision to acquit Blythe. What do you think?

 

SOURCE: Guardian UK, NY Times Blog, MTV News

PHOTO SOURCE: Loudwire

3 comments

  1. This clearly looks like a case where Blythe could be found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. He does not need to have intended to kill his fan, however if his actus reus ends up causing the death he could be found responsible. In this circumstance, I think that Blythe did not show malice aforethought and was merely protecting himself from an unknown person entering a supposedly safe area while he was performing. He could attempt to assert a defense that he was acting in self-defense to avoid a person who was “attacking” him on stage. The court will have to decide whether Blythe’s actions were reasonable under the circumstances. I think another important factor is the type of concert and music that was being performed. Many concerts have “mosh pits” and fans stage diving as a common occurrence. Under those circumstances, it might be seen as unreasonable for Blythe to have used force to remove the intruder. On the other hand, musicians (and other celebrities) are often the target of crazed fans who might wish to harm them and it can be seen as reasonable that Blythe was merely protecting himself. This is a terrible situation for both parties involved and seems to be a tragic mistake.

  2. This is truly an unfortunate situation. I think that Blythe’s statement sums it up well and shows the correct understanding. It is very sad that a young man lost his life but if Blythe is in fact punishable, it should not be so severe. Hopefully the parties can settle and Blythe can contribute monetarily or in some other way to the family for numerous years. I hope that more concrete evidence is introduced as to in what manner Blythe pushed the fan, but you can hardly blame a rock star for trying to shield himself from a possibly crazed fan running onto the stage. Rockers have dealt with this sort of treatment for years, and security should have been there to prevent it. I wonder if there could be an assumption of risk defense. The fan knew he was going somewhere he was not allowed to be and maybe assumed the consequences of that, however nobody would assume the consequences of death in that situation. It seems somewhat analogous to a fan who streaks onto a sports field and is tackled violently by security. If a fan accidentally hit his head the wrong way and died in that situation, what would be the result?

  3. As unfortunate as it sounds, and as terrible as I feel for the family who lost their young son, I agree that the musician here should not be charged. I think Matt nailed the analysis on this case, for I too was thinking about fans running onto baseball fields while I was reading Cali’s post. When entering a prohibited area at an event, fans know that forceful removal is inevitable. No one wants serious injury or harm to be the result, but for the protection of athletes and musicians, fans must be warded off in a quick physical manner. I think back to when the father-son combo of ‘fans’ attacked the first base coach of the Kansas City Royals a few years back. One of the fans had a knife fall out of his pocket during the confrontation. The forceful removal of fans crossing the legal threshold is certainly understandable; this was simply an awful tragedy.

    One hindsight comment: Perhaps they should not have concrete surrounding the stage area at a concert performed by a rock band with albums such as, Wrath, Walk With Me in Hell, and As the Palaces Burn.

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