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Chris Brown avoids trial and jail in assault case
By Sentinel News Service
Published June 25, 2009

Chris Brown and Rihanna
Chris Brown has avoided jail time in his assault case against Rihanna by reaching a last minute plea deal that involves probation, domestic violence classes, community service and having to stay at least 50 yards away from the pop starlet.

Brown, 20, will be sentenced to five years probation and 180 days of community labor to be served in Virginia, according to He must also take one year of domestic violence classes, and pay fines. In exchange, he pleaded guilty to felony assault by means likely to cause great bodily injury.

“Mr. Brown, I think it’s commendable that you took responsibility for your conduct,” said Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg.


Brown also was ordered to stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna – except at industry events, when it’s 10 yards – despite a request from Rihanna’s camp that the pair be allowed at the same place at the same time.

The singer agreed to the plea deal before the preliminary hearing that was scheduled to take place in Los Angeles on Monday. Rihanna was reportedly on standby waiting to testify.

Brown’s attorney Mark Geragos said of his client: “He’s very thankful to all the people who’ve been very supportive. This is a kid who’s never been in trouble before, who wants to move past this and make sure that the message gets out that these kinds of things, of domestic violence, are not acceptable. And that he has accepted responsibility and continues to do so and embraces this as an opportunity for him to get his life back on track and his career back on track.”

If he violates probation, Brown will face four years in prison. His formal sentencing is set for Aug. 5, when the court will drop his second charge of making criminal threats.

Noting that Brown pleaded to a felony, Schnegg said, “I want Mr. Brown to be treated the same as any other defendant who would come into this court. That means something like Caltrans [trash pickup] or graffiti removal.”



The plea deal was reached shortly before Rihanna, 21, was to testify under subpoena in a preliminary hearing.

Brown, wearing gray suit, off-white tie, and matching handkerchief in his front pocket, entered the courtroom shortly after 1:30 p.m. About 10 of his friends and family, including his mother, were seated in the audience.

After the judge addressed him, Brown left the courtroom and Rihanna, wearing a black dress and pearls, was brought in for the judge to explain the plea deal terms to the singer. The two were never in the courtroom at the same time. She stood before Judge Schnegg who told her that the court will consider reducing the stay-away order to the least-restrictive one after he’s sentenced. Rihanna’s only words in open court were: “Thank you, your honor,” before she was led out a special exit.

Courtesy of

Categories: News (Entertainment)

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