Screech actor was found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct
Saved By The Bell actor Dustin Diamond has been sentenced to four months in prison for a stabbing incident in a Wisconsin bar.
The actor had told jurors sitting in a courtroom in Port Washington, Wisconsin that after a fight broke out in a local bar on Christmas Day last year (2014), he took out a knife to defend himself and his girlfriend, then accidentally stabbed a man during a fracas. He was found guilty on two counts: carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.
After sentencing Diamond, 38, to four months in prison and 15 months’ probation, the Wisconsin judge told the court earlier today (June 25) that the severity of the punishment “has to send a message to the community that we’re just not going to live like this”.
According to the Associated Press, Diamond told the court: “I sincerely apologise to everyone involved. This was the single most terrifying experience of my life … This is all I’ve been able to think about for the last six months.”
The actor’s prison sentence will begin this Sunday (June 28). In February, two months after he was arrested over the stabbing incident, Diamond revealed that he was not invited to join his former castmates in a Saved By The Bell reunion sketch on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. He played Samuel “Screech” Powers in the iconic US teen show and several spin-off series between 1988 and 2000, and appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in the UK in 2013.
In 2009, Diamond published a memoir about his time on the show titled Behind The Bell, which painted an unflattering portrait of his former castmates. Diamond has since insisted that the book was ghost written and statements he made in interviews to its actual author were later fabricated or exaggerated.