As I Lay Dying singer Tim Lambesis has been sentenced to serve six years behind bars for plotting to kill his ex-wife.

In February (14) the heavy rocker pleaded guilty to soliciting an undercover cop to murder Meggan Lambesis and on Friday (16May14) he learned of his punishment at a hearing in San Diego Superior Court, as three of his bandmates watched on.

Meggan, who has also filed a $2 million (Gbp1.25 million) civil suit against her former husband, spoke at the sentencing, claiming that the rocker's behaviour had changed drastically in the months leading up to his arrest in May, 2013.

Lambesis was charged with one count of solicitation to commit murder and one count of conspiracy to commit a crime and has been under house arrest since pleading guilty to offering a sheriff's deputy, posing as a hitman, $1,000 (Gbp625) to kill Meggan. He also gave the agent his wife's address and the security code to her front door.

The singer's bandmates have announced a hiatus to allow him time to deal with his legal woes.

As he awaited sentencing, he and bandmate Jordan Mancino released a statement which read: "As I Lay Dying is sleeping rather than dead... Tim has acknowledged his guilt and clearly made some bad decisions in a period of time where he acted contrary to the person he's been most of his life.

"He believes As I Lay Dying should only pick back up if it's in a form restored to its roots. For Tim, the potential of pursuing As I Lay Dying again means working on a lot of other more important things in his personal life first."

Mancino has recorded new material with his As I Lay Dying bandmates and plans to release the music under a new name, with singer Shane Blay.