AC/DC Drummer Admits Threat to Kill
Phil Rudd enters surprise guilty plea
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2015 3:31 AM CDT
AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd in court in Tauranga, New Zealand, today.   (Christine Cornege/New Zealand Herald via AP)
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(Newser) – AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd won't be going on trial for dirty deeds: He entered a surprise guilty plea before his trial in New Zealand could begin today and faces up to seven years in jail for threatening to kill a former employee and his daughter. The court heard that the 60-year-old wanted the employee "taken out" because he was furious about poor sales of his solo album Head Job, and that he called the victim threatening to "come over and kill him," the BBC reports. Murder-for-hire charges against Rudd were dropped last fall because of a lack of evidence.

Rudd's lawyers told reporters that the charges stemmed from what was "essentially just an angry phone call." The lawyer tells CNN that he will "be seeking to have him discharged without conviction." Rudd also pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and methamphetamine, the BBC reports. Whether Rudd spends time in prison or not, his time as an AC/DC member may already be over: The band announced earlier this year that it would replace Rudd, who joined AC/DC in 1975, with Chris Slade for its "Rock or Bust" tour this year, the Guardian reports.