After being found guilty of stabbing a man during a Christmas Day bar brawl in Port Washington, Wisconsin, former Saved By the Bell star Dustin Diamond is being sent to the slammer.
According to a statement from the Ozaukee County Court, Judge Paul Malloy sentenced the actor to 120 days in jail following his conviction on two misdemeanor counts stemming from the incident: carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.
Diamond has also been sentenced to 15 months probation, with conditions of probation including “absolute sobriety”; and “no controlled substances unless subscribed by a doctor.”; In addition, he is not to enter the Grand Avenue Saloon (the scene of the crime) and have no contact with the victim.
Diamond’s girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, was found guilty of a lesser charge, and sentenced to a $500 fine and ordered to pay restitution to the victim.
As Associated Press reports, Malloy insisted the sentence was necessary in order to “send a message to the community that we’re just not going to live like this.”;
The Artist Formerly Known as Screech has been ordered to report to jail on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. to begin serving his four-month sentence.
During the hearing, Diamond issued an apology for his behaviour. Here’s his complete statement:
“Your honour, let me express just how sorry I am that a night that centres around celebrating peace and love can be turned into a night of immense regret for the rest of one’s life.
“Even though my intentions were solely to defend a loved one, they nevertheless were cause for the single most terrifying experience of my entire life. I have managed to go nearly 40 years without so much as a jaywalking ticket, and to think that one bad decision made in haste, be it ever so noble, could potentially ruin a lifetime of living right has made me see my life in a completely different way.
“The financial cost alone has had a crippling effect on me, not to mention the impact my decisions have made on my reputation as an upstanding member of the community.
“This is all I’ve thought about for the last six months, every single night consumed with what I could have done differently.
“Having been in the public eye ever since I was a little boy has taught me to be careful with every step I make. I’m not the type of person who goes out looking for trouble, or is willing to accept all challengers. On the contrary, I am one of the most patient and understanding you’ll meet, and that’s because I strive to be.
“I want it to be clear that this situation will never be repeated again. If I’m ever in a situation where I or a loved one is in danger, I will choose to passively accept what is give to me in the hopes that a night in the emergency room would be infinitely better than facing a future being seen as a criminal.
“I trust that God will see me through any dangers that present themselves, and fate will play out regardless of my actions or influence. Just as I put my fate in the law’s hands, and trusted that the system would work for me, I put my faith in the Lord’s hands again and trust that I’m a better person for having been through this.
“I sincerely apologize to everyone, not just those directly involved, and ask for forgiveness for the way I mishandled it.”