Former Real Housewives of Orange County star Lauri Peterson’s son has been released from jail after pleading guilty to lesser charges in his attempted murder case.
“Josh’s ordeal in jail nearly broke his spirit,” Josh Waring’s attorney Joel Garson tells PEOPLE. “We are grateful the prosecution team was able to carefully consider all of the problems it had with the case, as well as the equities in favor of Josh and offer us a plea deal that got Josh out immediately.”
“He was looking at a potential sentence of 65 years to life, and getting out today will mark the beginning of a new life for him. Because of Josh’s case, and with a very patient judge, we were able to expose the illegal practice of taping attorney-client telephones calls here in Orange County by the Sheriff’s Department and reveal the cruel treatment of inmates by the Sheriff’s Department. We only hope the lessons of Josh’s case will help other inmates.”
Garson had previously tried to convince a judge to release Waring after it was revealed that authorities were eavesdropping on Waring’s conversations from jail with lawyers, The Orange County Register reported in March 2019. Waring filed a claim against Orange County, demanding $1.4 million, The Blast reported.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the recordings were made in error, The Blast reported. Attorney Nicholas Kohan, who is handling the lawsuit regarding the tapped calls, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment and the status of the case is not immediately clear.
Garson explained that his client was awarded time served and was released on Friday.
Waring has been behind bars since 2016 after being arrested and accused of shooting a man named Daniel Lopez outside a sober living home in Costa Mesa, California. Lopez survived the gunshot.
Following his arrest — which took place hours after the murder on June 20, 2016 — witnesses told police that Waring left the home following a confrontation with a resident, but later returned around 2:30 a.m. in a BMW that belonged to his girlfriend, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Upon his return, witnesses recalled hearing shots fired, police said, according to the LA Times.
Eight hours after that, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter saw the BMW on the move and pursued it through Santa Ana.
After the BMW crashed into another vehicle, police said Waring allegedly fled on foot. He then allegedly attempted to hide in the restroom of a nearby business, but later surrendered to police, the LA Times reported.
Waring originally pled not guilty, telling the Daily Pilot in 2017, “I’m not nervous because I’m innocent. I didn’t do it.” He was held on a $1 million bond.
Peterson spoke out about her son’s legal troubles in 2018, claiming he had been set up by police.
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“After keeping silent for nearly 2 years in regards to my sons arrest, I am going to begin laying out the facts of his case and how easily it is to be falsely accused!” Peterson tweeted.
Waring’s release comes after a violent incident while in jail.
In October 2019, Waring was attacked by another inmate with razor wrapped towels. He suffered deep cuts to his face and chest, TMZ reported. He was then transferred to another jail.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.