Judge's plea earns veteran a second chance

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Hillsborough Circuit Judge Greg Holder took the unusual step Friday:

"Mr. Allred, your community control is terminated you are now on what we call straight probation," said Holder.

And with that, Clay Allred gets something most defendants rarely get -- a second chance.

"Out of all the defendants I have seen in the past 21 years I can think of no one who has performed in such an exemplary fashion and I'm pleased to say that," added Holder.

And with a relaxed sentence, doors will begin to reopen for Allred.

"I'm just happy to move forward from this and start thinking of school," he said.

Those doors had closed when he was originally sentenced to house arrest over an incident that was caught on surveillance video last year.  He pointed a gun at store clerk Shawn Hassan, fired into the air, and urinated in the store.

Tampa police found an arsenal of military weapons and other items in his car.

His attorney said he the former Army staff sergeant suffers from PTSD and the judge believed Allred needed help, not jail.  So he sentenced him to house arrest and probation.

Allred, who was a student at USF, was expelled based on the house arrest, 17 credits shy of graduation.  When he re-applied to USF last month, the university said no.

That's when Judge Greg Holder did something rare -- he went to bat for Allred, telling USF he deserves a second chance.

"This man has been a proud Bull and would like to return," urged Holder.

Store clerk Shawn Hassan had a much different reaction to the judge's plea,

"I didn't get any justice at the end of the day," complained Hassan.

Today, Hassan told FOX 13 he's "shocked" judge holder changed Allred's sentence.  "I thought my life was over. And I asked God for a miracle to happen."

Hassan says there's no guarantee Allred won't do something like this again.  But Allred says he is a changed man.

"I feel shameful for my actions that night I'd like him to know that's not who I am and I apologize and I hope we can both get through this and move on," Allred added.