US television actor Dustin Diamond has testified that he did not intentionally stab a man in a Christmas Day bar room scuffle in Wisconsin.
Diamond, 38, said some people had wanted to shake his hand and pose for photos at the bar in Port Washington, but that others were badgering him and his girlfriend, Amanda Schutz.
“I felt like we were being set up for antagonistic purposes,” said Diamond, who played Screech in the 1990s show Saved by the Bell.
He faces a felony charge of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and two misdemeanours – carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct.
The charges carry a sentence of at most 11 years in prison.
Testimony in the trial concluded on Friday afternoon with prosecutors arguing that Diamond recklessly endangered safety in wielding a knife in the midst of a fight.
Defence lawyers countered that no one saw Diamond stab the man. Video footage of the altercation is murky.
A jury was set to deliberate into Friday night.
Diamond said he was trying to protect Schutz and that he became concerned when he saw her nose “pouring blood” from the brawl.
He said he took out his pocketknife to deter the group from hurting her more.
“I figured it would take the fight out of the people,” he said.
On Thursday, Bethany Ward, 25, testified that she punched Schutz in the face during a confrontation, but insisted that Schutz had initiated the fight.
Schutz faces a misdemeanour disorderly conduct charge with a maximum sentence of 90 days in prison.