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High School Musical's Justin Martin Breaks Silence After Pleading Guilty To Gun Charges

Filed under: Legal MattersBusted!ViolenceScary!

Justin Martin

High School Musical 3 star Justin Martin is opening up after being sentenced to 18 months in jail and one year probation earlier this week.

As we told you, the 22-year-old pleaded guilty to five different gun charges regarding a shootout with cops last summer in Massachusetts.

In a statement to People, Justin penned:

"I have matured a great deal in the past year and had to learn some hard lessons because of my actions. I should have acted more responsibly and taken my choices more seriously."

Related: Stacey Dash Opens Up About Her Secret Pain

Martin said he's been making efforts since the incident to learn from his mistakes and educate others on gun violence:

"This last year, I have been speaking at schools in Boston and educating high school students about making good choices, anti-gun violence and drug awareness. I focus on being accountable for your actions and emphasize that one mistake doesn't have to define your life. I appreciate everyone's support, especially my family and friends for standing by me and knowing that my choices that night are not reflective of my true character. I look forward to moving past this time in my life and getting back to my career. Thank you for all the positive messages and support."

The actor's attorney said his client has "accepted responsibility for his mistakes," explaining:

"The incident was a confrontation initiated by others who have a long history with law enforcement, and Justin reacted in a way that was inconsistent with his character. At no time did Justin ever fire a gun at police officers. However, there was a circumstance when he pointed a gun at an officer who arrived in an unmarked car wearing plain clothes, mistakenly believing that they were part of the group of attackers. Justin's attackers fired at police and also fired at Justin. Martin was offered a plea agreement that was the minimum possible sentence by the court, but it is a mandatory sentence in the state for possession of a firearm. Justin has no prior confrontations with law enforcement and is hopeful that he can move forward from this unfortunate incident.‎"

[Image via WENN.]

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THIS High School Musical Actor Will Go To Jail For A Year & A Half After Pleading Guilty To Gun Charges!

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Justin Martin doesn't really have much to sing about these days.

On Tuesday, the actor — who played Donny Dion in High School Musical 3 — pleaded guilty to five different gun charges regarding a shootout with cops last summer.

For those who might not remember, Boston police heard gunshots in the Massachusetts capital back in July, and saw the 22-year-old and another man running away while holding weapons.

Related: Growing Up Hip Hop's Damon 'Boogie' Dash Arrested For DUI!

Authorities chased them down and said that, while the other man actually shot back at them, Zac Efron's costar pointed his pistol at the cops, but didn't actually fire.

After the police caught up with them, Justin was booked for assault with a dangerous weapon, illegal possession of a gun and ammunition, carrying a loaded gun, and firing a gun near a building.

And on Tuesday, the HSM3 alum pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 18 months behind bars, even though the District Attorney apparently wanted to lock him up for three years.

In addition to the jail time, Justin also got slapped with one year of probation, which requires him to stay away from the crime scene, as well as drugs and alcohol.

[Image via Getty Images.]

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