Principal Beaten

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Former Fayetteville, Tennessee, principal Steve Steelman won't have to go to jail for faking a brutal attack on himself.

A judge yesterday granted pretrial diversion in the case. If Steelman stays out of trouble for two years, charges that he misled investigators and fabricated evidence will be removed from his record. He must also pay back 12-thousand dollars the local police and the F-B-I spent to investigate what was believed to be a crime against him.

Steelman was found bleeding from head wounds outside his office at Fayetteville Intermediate School in November. His tongue had also been slashed. He claimed two young men came into his office after school and beat him. A month later, he acknowledged making up the story and said he caused his own wounds.

Steelman is no longer in education, but works in the office of a Fayetteville doctor.