Former child TV actor Dustin Diamond, who played Screech in the popular sitcom Saved by the Bell, was convicted Friday of two misdemeanors stemming from a bar stabbing in Wisconsin on Christmas Day last year.
According to the Daily Mail, a jury found Diamond not guilty of any serious felony charges after the actor testified it was never his intention to stab anyone during the fight and that he acted in defense of his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz.
Diamond, 38, was reportedly inside the bar with Schutz when a crowd of intoxicated people started acting hostile, which led the actor to believe “there was going to be a brawl,” according to an arrest report.
The actor said people inside the bar wanted to shake his hand and pose for photographs, but many were badgering him.
“I felt like we were being set up for antagonistic purposes,” he said.
Diamond told police he went to grab their coats to leave, but when he returned, his girlfriend was bleeding, and two men were holding her hair. He then moved towards her when a man grabbed him, the report continues.
He said he may have stabbed the man with a pen he used to pay his bar tab, but he later told officials he was armed with a knife.
“Diamond stated that he did not intentionally stab the individual in the bar but that chaos broke out and people were grabbing at him and that he swung his arms to break free,” per the report.
Police said the wound inflicted on the identified victim, who also testified Thursday, was not life-threatening, and the man said he did not see a knife or even realize he had been stabbed until he got home.
While the Wisconsin court determined the actor did not recklessly endanger safety, it did find him guilty of carrying a concealed weapon and behaving in a disorderly manner. Diamond originally faced up to ten years in prison.
The first misdemeanor is a maximum sentence of nine months in prison, and the second, a maximum of 90 days.
The incident occurred in the Grand Avenue Saloon in Port Washington, WI.