Dustin Diamond is headed to trial for charges that he stabbed a man in a bar fight, and the Saved By The Bell actor could end behind bars for the next decade if he’s convicted.
Diamond is accused of stabbing a man with a pocket knife during a fight at a bar in Port Washington, Wisconsin on Christmas Day. But Diamond’s lawyer is arguing that none of the people interviewed by police after the incident saw the Saved By The Bell actor stab the victim.
Shortly after his release in late December, Diamond proclaimed his innocence and claimed he was defending his fiancee.
“Dustin doesn’t feel like he is being wronged,” his lawyer Thomas Alberti told People magazine. “He gets that when something like this happens, the police get involved and the court figures it out. He says the Port Washington police have been nothing but exemplary. He gets it. He knows there is a process in this country and in the end he will be exonerated.”
In court proceedings to set bail, Alberti also outlined the events from Diamond’s perspective.
“The State is in possession of photographs and/or Police Officer statements that may reasonably conclude that [Diamond’s] [fiancée], Amanda Schutz, had been punched in the face and forcibly held by more than one adult male,” according to a Monday motion filed by Alberti. “[Diamond] produced a pocketknife in a desperate attempt to defend his [fiancée] from further harm. [Diamond] hoped to deter the aggressors with the only option that he had: a pocketknife. It was not until one of the aggressors attempted to tackle [Diamond] that any alleged injury occurred.”
But the alleged victim claims that Dustin Diamond was causing trouble and “fighting with people,” prompting him to push the actor “on one or two occasions.”
The allegations have already cost Diamond. In February, his Saved By The Bell castmates joined Jimmy Fallon for a mini-reunion, but Diamond wasn’t invited.
Though many assumed the arrest was the reason he was snubbed, Diamond tried to keep a good perspective on the incident.
“Here’s the way I look at it. I walk a very honest and humble path, and I know what kind of person I am. I’m very comfortable where I fit in life,” he said. “I want to have a family. I want to have kids and I want to raise them right. I’m playing comedy clubs. I’m not rich, but I make a living. I’ve tripped and fallen many times in my life. If you don’t, how do you learn?”
Dustin Diamond faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
[Image via Getty Images/Dustin Phelps]