Chris Brown Pleads Guilty to Assault, Sentenced to 180 Days Community Service
Their day in court finally arrived but it wasn't nearly as interesting as you might think. Pop/R&B diva Rihanna made an appearance in court and was expected to take the stand against ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, but a plea deal put the whole thing to rest rather quickly.
The 30-minute hearing, which was closed off to the media, resulted in Brown pleading guilty to felony assault. The judge slapped him with a 180-day sentence in a labor diversion program plus five years probation for allegedly assaulting Rihanna. He was also ordered to stay away from the singer, born Robyn Fenty, and complete a domestic violence counseling program.
"My understanding is that the deal was put on the table today," Rihanna's attorney Donald Etra explained. "Rihanna was advised of the deal earlier today and she has no objections to the agreement." Etra also stated that although his client was "fully prepared to testify" she did not do so because prior to the hearing Brown plead guilty to the assault charge. Rihanna never actually entered the courtroom but did meet with the judge inside the courthouse.
"The specifics of the stay away order is that Chris cannot come within 50 yards of Rihanna" Etra said. However, the five-year order will be reduced to 10 yards if the two are attending the same event. The judge also informed Rihanna that she is not to contact Chris either, as it will be a violation on his part. Etra went on to say that Rihanna felt that a stay away order was not necessary. The judge decided to keep it in place but will re-consider the terms of the order following Brown's next court date in August.
According to TMZ, Brown will complete the program in his home state of Virginia, and will do work similar to cleaning up graffiti (which ironically is the title of his forthcoming album) off the highway. The 20-year-old will not face any jail time but will be placed on supervised probation, which requires him to check in with the courts every three months.
Speculation of a possible plea bargain grew after Brown's lawyer Marc Geragos, met with prosecutors earlier this morning prior to his client's arrival. Brown, who wore a pale gray suit, pulled up to the courtroom in a black SUV with Geragos by his side. He did not speak to reporters as he walked into the courthouse. Rihanna eluded cameras by entering via a separate entrance, not long after her attorney Donald Etra.
The judge in the case noted that she wanted to make sure Brown "was treated as any other person who comes through this court." Violation of the terms of his plea bargain could result in a four-year prison sentence.
Brown originally plead not guilty to felony assault and making criminal threat charges, following his alleged altercation with Rihanna, 21. The scuffle took place in February after a pre-Grammy party the couple attended together. The two argued over an alleged text message Brown received from a former lover. The incident eventually turned violent, leaving Rihanna bruised and battered. Brown turned himself in to authorities the next day and was later released on $50,000 bail.
Not long after the incident the two reconciled spending time together in both Los Angeles and Miami but have since gone their separate ways. Rihanna, who initially released a statement thanking fans for their support, has not spoken about the case since. Brown has also taken a decidedly silent route, but did release a video last month stating that he was "not a monster."
Stay tuned as the story develops....