Was Charlie Sheen's Sentence Too Lenient? 'Two and a Half Men' Due Back on Set After Guilty Plea

Former police officer questions whether sentence was too light.

ByABC News via logo
August 2, 2010, 2:06 PM

Aug. 3, 2010— -- Charlie Sheen will return to the set of his hit television sitcom today, a day after pleading guilty to assaulting his wife. But some observers are questioning whether Sheen should have been allowed to walk out of court a free man.

Former police officer Valerie McFarland, who took the 911 call placed from Sheen's Aspen home last year, said she thinks he may have gotten off easy after allegedly pulling a knife on wife Brooke Mueller.

"I wish that the judge could have seen what Mrs. Sheen looked like that Christmas Day," McFarland said, "and felt the terror that I believe she must have experienced."

Robin Sax, former Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, agreed, saying that the emphasis of Sheen's day in court was on celebrity and not necessarily justice.

"It's just not even within the realm of the most lenient of lenient sentences," she told "Good Morning America" today.

Sheen's day in court looked almost like a red-carpet appearance: He chewed gum and blew kisses to fans before going inside. He walked out a free man a short time later, sentenced to 30 days of probation, 36 hours of anger management classes and 30 days at a Malibu rehabilitation center that has counted Lindsay Lohan and Robert Downey Jr. among its patrons.

If Sheen gets credit for time already served at the drug and alcohol treatment center, he may not have to stay there at all.

"I'm going to Disneyland," the "Two and a Half Men" star said as he left the courthouse.

His guilty plea to the misdemeanor assault charge came in exchange for the withdrawal of two other charges, including a felony.

Noted celebrity criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos said Sheen's sentence wasn't light at all, considering that Mueller, the prosecution's would-be star witness, had shown no interest in cooperating.

The plea deal, he said, proved that prosecutors "had a devil a time making their case."

"I think the prosecutor got lucky that he got a plea at all," he said. "It's not necessarily lenient."

Since his arrest last year, Sheen, TV's highest paid actor, has worked to reconcile with Mueller, rebuild their family -- they have one-year-old twin sons, Bob and Max -- and repair his public image. The two were married in 2008.

Last month, Sheen signed on for two more years of his successful sitcom, putting an end to a long salary dispute and rumors that he wanted out to focus more on film.