Dustin Diamond Cleared of Felony Charges But Still Faces Prison

Dustin Diamond — forever known as "Screech" to those of us who watched Saved by the Bell — has been cleared of felony charges for his involvement in a bar stabbing in Wisconsin, but that doesn't mean he's in the clear yet. The former actor (and, uh, porn star) still faces jail time when he returns to court for sentencing.

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Diamond defended himself on the stand Friday, claiming he stabbed a man at a bar in Port Washington, Wisconsin, on Christmas Day because he was defending his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz, whom he says was attacked. Diamond, 38, says a man grabbed hold of Schutz and that Diamond responded by pulling out a pocket knife and demanding he release her. He then claimed Schutz was "pummeled" and "thrown about" and that the man shoved him into a corner before he realized he could use his knife to protect them.

More from The Stir: 'Saved by the Bell' Star Dustin Diamond Arrested for Stabbing a Man

Diamond, who says he was sober at the time of the incident, reportedly stabbed the man under his right arm pit. But he claims he was holding the knife by his side and pointing at Schutz with his other hand to demand the man release her when the man "injured himself" by rushing toward Diamond to grab his throat. He says he didn't swing or motion the knife towards him at all.

Good God, what a mess.

Diamond pleaded not guilty to second-degree reckless endangering safety — a felony — and two misdemeanors: disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon. It's a good thing for him that he was cleared of felony charges because if he was found guilty of all three charges he would now be facing 11 years in prison. Instead, he was convicted of both misdemeanor charges and could get a maximum of one year in prison.

Do you think it's fair that Dustin Diamond was cleared of felony charges?

 

Image via Jeffrey Phelps/Getty Images

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