No, Screech didn't kill someone. Yes, he is going to jail. Dustin Diamond, who starred on the NBC teen sitcom Saved by the Bell, will start serving his four month jail sentence with work release this January. His stint in the clinker is a result of an altercation at a Wisconsin bar that got out of control. And since it happened, it has been rumored that Screech actually killed his assailant. Which is not true.
As reported by WISN-TV and WITI-TV, Dustin Diamond showed up in Ozaukee County court this past Wednesday. He withdrew his appeal of a disorderly conduct conviction. And his sentence start date was announced as January 15. The actor, who begin working as a child, is most famously known for his role as nerdy Screech on the 1990s TV show Saved by the Bell.
Dustin Diamond was convicted this past June of carrying a concealed weapon. He also got tagged with disorderly conduct. Both offenses are misdemeanors. He has received 60 days in prison on each misdemeanor charge. The actor was cleared of a felony for recklessly endangering public safety. He was originally supposed to start his quarter year stint behind bars this summer. But a judge decided to stay his sentence, pending his appeal.
In court, Dustin Diamond testified that he was trying to protect his girlfriend during a bar altercation. He pulled out a pocketknife on the assailant at the Port Washington waterhole last Christmas Day. During sentencing, the actor had this to say for his actions.
"I sincerely apologize 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."
In his defense, Diamond claimed that some of the bar patrons were asking to shake his hand, and wanted to pose for photos. He claims that others were badgering him and his girlfriend Amanda Schutz. In an attempt to stop the harassment, the actor pulled out his pocketknife and showed it to those attempting to hurt the couple. He claims that he only wanted to scare the bar patrons, and also says that the incident stemmed from Schutz getting punched in the face. Says the once and future Screech.
"I felt like we were being set up for antagonistic purposes."
25-year-old Casey Smet was actually stabbed in the incident. But unlike some rumors claim, the man was far from killed. He was barely injured. During his testimony in court, Smet told the jury that he didn't even know he'd been stabbed until after he left the bar and was talking to the police. It was not said how big the blade on the pocketknife was, but it sounds like it was not large enough to do any substantial internal damage.