Real Housewives of Orange County alum Lauri Peterson feels “blindsided” by her son Josh Waring’s guilty plea, she reveals in an exclusive video interview obtained by In Touch outside of the courthouse on Friday, March 6. After originally facing attempted murder charges, Waring instead pleaded guilty to felony counts of evading a peace officer, assault with a firearm, hit-and-run with property damage and battery.
Waring previously faced a life sentence if he was convicted of attempted murder, but he has maintained his innocence throughout the process. “Josh said he would never, ever, ever plea for something that he didn’t do. I still think that’s true,” the Bravo alum exclusively tells In Touch.
“He was really looking forward to the upcoming trial and realistically, the trial probably wouldn’t have happened until the end of the year.”
Peterson reveals Waring has been in solitary confinement for over three months and says the experience “broke him,” so he “gave in.” The TV personality’s son has remained behind bars for four years — he’s been in an Orange County jail since 2016. His legal troubles started after he allegedly shot a man outside a sober living home. Waring initially pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
“I just want him to stay sober,” she tells In Touch. “Josh is not a violent person. He has never been a violent person. I don’t worry about that.”
Peterson’s son was sentenced to seven years and four months in prison, but will be released on March 6 with time served. Now that he is a free man, she says his woes aren’t exactly over because “he’ll have a mark over his head” due to his guilty plea.
“There’s consequences to that,” the star claims to In Touch. “It’ll be life-altering for him. Maybe that will be kind of like the invisible handcuffs on him as a reminder to not ever go back to drugs again.”
Despite everything that’s transpired, the mother of three is overjoyed to see her son again. Peterson tells In Touch exclusively that she “can’t wait” to hug him.
“Well, I’m just so excited. First of all, just to be able to touch him,” she adds. “You know, I’m feeling so happy just to get the chance to actually just wrap my arms around him.”
“There’s also another side of me that … to get to this point, and for him to have to plea, that was a really tough decision. I know that’s really tough on Josh and that’s going to be hard to go forward with. At some point, we’re just going to have to close the chapter and move on into the next … and move into a recovery process because it’s going to take some time to get through this.”
Reporting by Marjorie Hernandez
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