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CHRIS BROWN PLEADS NOT GUILTY

 

04.06.09 ----  In the case of the People versus Chris Brown, the singer pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom Monday to two felony counts – assault and making criminal threats – in the alleged Feb. 8 beating of his 'girlfriend' Rihanna.

Asked by Judge Patricia Schnegg for his plea for both charges, Brown answered "not guilty" to each one in a barely audible voice. The judge set the next hearing for April 29.

Brown's lawyer, Mark Geragos, told the judge that "more discovery was needed" in the case, meaning that he is awaiting review of more evidence. Rihanna was not present nor required to show at the hearing.

Her attorney Donald Etra told reporters outside the courtroom, "Nothing's changed with regard to Rihanna's stance toward this case ... She will testify if subpoenaed and will do everything that's required of her to do." Currently the singer, is "doing fine," says Etra. "She's in Barbados now with her family."

Legal experts contend the case will likely end with Brown accepting a plea deal on lesser charges, with anywhere from a jail sentence of 30 to 180 days in addition to three to five years of probation.

"A plea deal would be the quickest and least messy way to end this case," says L.A. criminal defense attorney Jeffery Rubenstein, who's not involved with the case. "It would also let Rihanna off the hook from testifying in court."

Asked about efforts between prosecutors and Geragos to come to a plea deal, Rihanna's lawyer said Monday, "I believe there are efforts by all parties involved to resolve this case expeditiously. That would be beneficial to everyone. Rihanna would be pleased if this case were resolved quickly and fairly."



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