Chris Brown Strikes Plea Deal, Avoids Jail Time In Assault Case - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Chris Brown Strikes Plea Deal, Avoids Jail Time In Assault Case

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    Chris Brown Strikes Plea Deal, Avoids Jail Time In Assault Case

    Chris Brown will avoid jail time after the singer struck a deal with prosecutors in his assault case.

    Under the deal Brown and his attorney, Mark Geragos, made with the Los District Attorney's Office, the singer was sentenced to five years probation, enrollment in a domestic violence counseling program and 180 days in a labor program in his home state of Virginia, after pleading guilty to one count of felony assault, Access Hollywood has learned.

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    The labor program will likely be similar to roadside cleanup work or graffiti removal.

    "This sentence is not an easy sentence, we're talking about a five-year probationary period. That is a long time," Sandy Gibbons, Public Information Officer for LA District Attorney's Office, told reporters following court on Monday.

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    According to Rihanna's lawyer, Donald Etra, who also addressed reporters outside court after Monday's hearing, the "Umbrella" singer did not have any objections to the deal.

    "Rihanna was advised of the plea deal at 12:30 this afternoon and she had no objection to the plea agreement. Rihanna believes this is a fair and just resolution to this case," Etra told reporters.

    As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, Brown was facing two felony charges — assault with force likely to produce great bodily harm, along with making criminal threats. The charges stemmed from the alleged beating of Rihanna (real name Robyn Fenty) during the early hours of February 8.

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    Brown had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges during an April 6 hearing in LA.

    Rihanna appeared in court on Monday afternoon following the hearing, where Judge Patricia M. Schnegg had been expected to determine whether there was enough evidence to move toward trial. After Brown left the courtroom, the judge told Rihanna about a stay-away order she had issued. According to the order, Rihanna and Brown are required to stay at least 50 yards away from each other. At industry events, however, that number decreases to 10 yards. Rihanna, herself, had not asked for the order.

    According to her attorney, the order prohibits all contact between the two parties.

    "They cannot contact each other," Etra said outside court. "They're supposed to have no contact with each other."

    While it is unclear when Brown's deal was reached, Etra said Rihanna was unaware of the agreement until just after lunchtime and she was prepared to give testimony if she had been called by the court.

    "Rihanna, as you know, was present in the court. She was fully prepared to testify and she would have told the truth about what happened that evening," he said.

    Brown had faced a potential four years and eight months if he had been convicted on the two counts. And according to Etra, "the judge gave an alternate sentence; either he serve 180 days in jail" or 180 days of labor.

    Dozens of paparazzi and news organizations packed the courthouse for the preliminary hearing. Over 56 media outlets applied for a seat in the courtroom during Monday's proceedings. Only 36 outlets were seated inside.

    A short while after the hearing, Geragos addressed the media over the plea agreement. The attorney explained that Brown chose to plead guilty in court on Monday to the assault count, and did not opt for a no-contest plea. Geragos added that Brown hopes to "get his life back on track."

    "This is a kid who has never been in trouble before, who wants to move past this and obviously wants to makes sure the message gets out that this kind of thing and domestic violence are not acceptable, and has accepted responsibility and will continue to do so and embraces this as an opportunity for him to get his life back on track and get his career back on track," Geragos said.

    Sentencing has been scheduled for August 5, at which time the judge is expected to officially approve the plea deal.

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