Chris Brown appears before judge with Rihanna in front row
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A Los Angeles County judge kept Chris Brown on probation Wednesday and ordered more information regarding allegations by prosecutors that the R&B singer did not complete his court-ordered community service in Virginia.
Although scheduled in advance, the progress report hearing came a day after prosecutors filed a motion raising serious questions about Brown’s community service. Judge James Brandlin ordered Brown to report to his probation officer within 48 hours and provide any documentation related to his community service, and scheduled another hearing for April 5.
Brown is on five years’ probation after pleading guilty to a felony count of assault in connection with a 2009 attack on his girlfriend Rihanna, who accompanied him to court Wednesday and sat in the front row.
Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos, said he submitted paperwork to the court Wednesday in response to the allegations, and would have supplemental information later.
‘I’m a little disturbed how the district attorney handled this,’ Geragos said in court. ‘It could have been handled much differently.’
The motion filed by Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary A. Murray said an investigation into Brown’s community service found ‘significant discrepancies indicating at best sloppy documentation and at worst fraudulent reporting,’ and asked a judge to order Brown to carry out his court-ordered labor in Los Angeles County instead of Virginia, where he lives.
The filing outlined a series of inconsistencies with a report prepared by Richmond, Va., police, and alleged Brown was not in the city — or even the country — during times he reportedly was picking up trash.
Geragos sharply disputed the allegations, accusing prosecutors of making ‘scurrilous, libelous and defamatory statements’ against his client. Geragos also disagreed with suggestions in supporting documents filed by the district attorney’s office, alleging the defense attorney coached Virginia authorities in their conversations with Los Angeles County investigators.
‘The motion is a disgrace, and the D.A. should be embarrassed, and I plan on asking for sanctions against the D.A.,’ Geragos told The Times on Tuesday. ‘I also encourage the Richmond Police Department to take legal action against the L.A. district attorney.’
The filing also included a series of incidents involving Brown, including a January fight with singer Frank Ocean at a West Hollywood recording studio and a February 2012 encounter in Miami, where Brown allegedly drove away with a cellphone from a fan who took a photo of him and his then-girlfriend.
Another incident referenced was in March 2011 at the ‘Good Morning America’ studio in New York City, where Brown became enraged after he was questioned about his assault on Rihanna. Brown threw a chair through a glass window, an act prosecutors said was ‘another demonstration of the defendant’s anger-control issues and violent temper resulting in a violation of the law.’
— Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather