California "satanic" band's front man, "Lord Morder," has been arrested in a Jan. 19 anti-Christian drive-by shooting.
Sol Evil, a little-known band cranking out black metal music in Orange County, Calif., tried to set itself apart from competitors by making its fans a pledge: "Sol Evil practices what they preach."
When your act features sheep heads, self-mutilations and calls to "murder ALL Christians," that's a tall order. But Sol Evil's front man, a 22-year-old special education teacher who goes by the stage name Lord Morder, allegedly did his best to keep the promise.
In February, Lord Morder — real name: Raymond Earl Shipley — was arrested along with another band member in connection with a Jan. 19 drive-by shooting at a Christian drug rehabilitation center in Santa Ana.
Officials wouldn't say who the target was, but a former band member told OC Weekly that Lord Morder and bandmate Benito Contreras apparently were aiming at another ex-bandmate — stage name: Berserk — who was trying to get clean at the rehab center.
No one was wounded in the shooting, but both men were charged with attempted murder and conspiracy. If convicted, both of their sentences could be lengthened because officials filed the charges along with the first hate crime penalty enhancement requested for an anti-Christian attack in Orange County history.
Hate crimes against Christians are very rare in the United States. To make the unusual charge stick, prosecutors plan to make liberal use of Lord Morder's anti-Christian rants.
"They should all be murdered the way that their bastard Christ was ... slowly and painfully," he told one interviewer. "All Christians should be murdered without pity or remorse! SATANAS VENIRE!!!"
His attorney argues that Lord Morder's Christian-bashing was merely an act. But friends and former band members told OC Weekly that Shipley seemed to want Sol Evil to follow in the footsteps of some of Norway's black metal bands, which made the music internationally infamous in the 1990s with gory stage antics and off-stage violence that included at least one murder and a spate of church burnings.