AC/DC Drummer Charged in Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on November 06, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Phil Rudd, the drummer for legendary Australian rock band AC/DC, has been charged with attempting to "procure murder" in New Zealand.

Rudd was the drummer on many of the iconic rock band's biggest hits, including the somewhat fitting "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap." Details regarding Rudd's own alleged dirty deeds have yet to be revealed. But BBC News reports that Rudd is accused of plotting to hire a hit man to kill two men.

What does it mean to "procure murder" in New Zealand, and how does the alleged crime compare to U.S. law?

Solicitation of Murder

Under New Zealand's Crimes Act of 1961, a person "who incites, counsels, or attempts to procure any person to murder any other person in New Zealand, when that murder is not in fact committed" is guilty of "counselling or attempting to procure murder." The punishment for a conviction under this section is a prison term "not exceeding 10 years."

This law is roughly equivalent to the American criminal justice system's crime of solicitation. Solicitation is generally the requesting, demanding, or encouraging of another person to engage in criminal activity with the intent to facilitate or contribute to the commission of that crime.

Punishment for solicitation depends on the crime being solicited. Solicitation of murder may be a felony. Earlier this year, another rock star accused of attempting to hire a hit man, As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis, was convicted of attempting to hire a hit man to kill his wife and sentenced to six years in prison for felony solicitation of murder.

Back in Black Court

Rudd was released on bail following his court appearance, but is due back in court on November 27. He has not yet entered a plea, according to the BBC.

Rudd was kicked out of AC/DC in 1983 but rejoined the band in 1994. However, he did not appear in the band's most recent music video or in new photos of the band released last month. A statement posted on the band's website said the band was aware of Rudd's arrest and that "Phil's absence will not affect the release of our new album 'Rock or Bust' and upcoming tour next year."

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