So … we all prolly know by now that Chris Brown managed to work out a plea bargain in court yesterday that resulted in his conviction on felony assault against his ex-girlfriend Rihanna (who was also in court yesterday, apparently ready to tell her side of the story to the court). His punishment? 5 years probation and 180 days of “hard labor” cleaning up the streets of his home State of Virginia. I understand that this is a typical sentence for first time offenders of assault … which kinda sickens me. The court system is basically saying that you can assault a person of your choosing and only face probation and street cleaning as punishment. But I digress. Here are photos of both Chris Brown and Rihanna in court yesterday and a full rundown of the day’s events:
With Rihanna set to break her silence in her assault case, Chris Brown reached a plea agreement that spared him jail time, it was announced Monday. Brown, 20, will be sentenced to five years probation and 180 days of community labor to be served in Virginia. He will also complete a 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 lawyer for a less-restrictive order. For now, Brown was also ordered not to have any contact with her, which includes by phone, email or text. “He’s very thankful to all the people who’ve been very supportive,” said Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos. “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 a 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.” Brown had been charged with two felony counts – assault and making criminal threats – in the alleged fight that left Rihanna bruised and bloodied. 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. According to a search warrant, Rihanna was assaulted during an argument that began when she read text messages from another woman on Brown’s phone as they driving in a Lamborghini in L.A. the morning before the pair were both scheduled to perform on the Grammy Awards. An enraged Brown allegedly tried to force her out of the car, hit her head against the passenger window, punched in her left eye and drove away while steering with one hand and continuing to punch her with the other, says the detective’s notes in the search warrant. As blood filled Rihanna’s mouth, Brown allegedly told her, “I’m going to beat the shit out of you when we get home. You wait and see!” Rihanna then pretended to call her assistant and left a fake message saying, “I am on my way home. Make sure the cops are there when I get there.” The police notes say that prompted Brown to reply: “You just did the stupidest thing ever. Now I’m really going to kill you.”
I guess I’m kinda disgusted that the ruling judge commended Chris Brown for “taking responsibility” for his actions. If he had truly taken responsibility, he would’ve turned himself into cops months ago, admitted his crimes and served a real punishment for assault. What really happened was that his hot shot lawyer managed to work out a deal where Brown only got a slap on the wrists for his felonious actions. I suppose at this point we are to hope that Brown has learned his lesson and will stay out of trubs for the rest of his life. Should he violate his probation in any way in the next 5 years, I believe he will be slapped with a more substantial punishment. In the end, I suppose we should be glad that all of this drama is over. My hope is that Rihanna can move forward from all of this in a healthy manner. Let’s not forget, she is the victim in all of this … whether she chooses to believe it or not.