AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd is off the hook for the biggest charge leveled against him this week—murder for hire. Just a day after Rudd was arrested for allegedly attempting to have two men killed, that charge—for which he could have faced 10 years in prison—has been dropped due to "insufficient evidence," Rolling Stone reports. However, Rudd is still charged with threatening to kill, for which he could face seven years, as well as meth and cannabis possession. Police initially said Rudd tried to hire a man—who has not been publicly named—to carry out the murders, but that man tells the New Zealand Herald he is not a hitman and said that the whole idea of a murder plot was simply "hot air." He says it's "good" that the murder-for-hire charge against Rudd, whom he describes as a friend, was dropped.
That man also told Stuff.co.nz that Rudd wanted to hire him as his bodyguard because of threats he'd gotten. According to the unnamed man, it all has to do with "working girls." "The girls that he gets, working girls and that, their partners get pissed off, he tells them 'nah, I'm not paying you,' and then the partners come and say they want their money," he says. But no official details of the alleged plot have been revealed. AC/DC released a statement on its website yesterday noting, "We've only become aware of Phil's arrest as the news was breaking. We have no further comment. Phil's absence will not affect the release of our new album Rock or Bust and upcoming tour next year."