On Friday, November 7 at 9 a.m., D'Antonio will be sentenced for his crimes and at last, Sadler is ready to publicly tell the story of that fateful night. Sammy will hold a press conference to discuss his feelings regarding the conviction of his attacker immediately after the sentencing. Sadler will meet the press outside of Criminal Court, Division 2, Courtroom #13, 601 Mainstream Drive (Metro Center) Nashville, Tennessee.
"I was just a kid," Sammy says. "I was 21 years old, I had a record deal and a song on the charts. I was married and on top of the world. One minute, I'm getting into the car with a friend, and the next, a guy in a ski mask, wearing dark clothing approaches and opens fire." Sadler was shot in the shoulder and managed to run to a nearby building for cover. Hughes wasn't as fortunate. He tried to flee by running south on 16th Avenue, but the gunman gave chase and fired at him several times. Hughes, hit three times, died from a gunshot wound to the head.
That night, "Changed my life forever," says Sadler. "It was really hard to believe that something like that could happen in real life. It's something you see in the movies; not something that happens to you. My friend was dead. I was near death. My career was over at that point and I was in incredible pain for months after the attack. I still have dreams, nightmares I guess, where I relive that night."
Sadler's life did change. His marriage did not survive, his career took another path and he changed in many ways. "In some ways I'm a better person," he says. "But in other ways, I'm very different now than I was before the shooting. I'm more reserved and I'm less trusting of people. It's been hard."
It took several years for Sadler to heal physically and several more years before he felt enough confidence to pick up his music career where he'd left off in 1989. Now, Sammy is back promoting his new single, "I Know A Place," and he feels a certain synergy between the progress of the case and the momentum of his career. "It's strange," he says. "Right around the time of the trial, I finished recording my new album, HARD ON A HEART, which is due out early next year on Texas Records. For the past month, I've been on a Southwestern radio tour and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. I've got a solid team behind me now at the label and out in the field promoting this record. I feel free now. The trial has brought me a sense of closure and ignited a fire I haven't had in years. Everything in my life is moving forward once again."