Judge rejects prosecutor's motion to throw Chris Brown in jail
Prosecutor: Brown's violent outbursts are "increasing in severity and intensity"
Probation officer: Brown "is doing well in the program and making great strides" in rehab
Brown returns to court on February 28 when judge will again consider jail for him
Chris Brown will stay in rehab a few more weeks despite a prosecutor’s request he be thrown in jail.
Brown, who has been on probation since pleading guilty to assaulting girlfriend Rihanna five years ago, is becoming more violent, with his outbursts “increasing in severity and intensity,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray argued Monday.
The singer has been in a rehab program for anger issues and drug abuse since November when the judge ordered him to go there instead of jail for an earlier probation violation.
But the prosecutor asked Monday that he been locked up in jail because of his arrest in Washington on an assault charge.
Although Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin ruled Brown was again in violation of probation, he cited a new report from his probation officer that concluded Brown “is doing well in the program and making great strides” in rehab.
For now, Brown can stay in rehab, the judge ruled. “It appears your doing well in the program,” he told Brown.
“There’s no reason to put him into custody at this point,” Brown attorney Mark Geragos said after the hearing. “We’re happy that the judge agreed with us.”
Brown is expected to complete the rehab program on February 19, but he has to travel to Washington for a hearing on the assault charge on February 20. That case could still send Brown to jail in Los Angeles if he is found guilty.
The probation imposed when he pleaded guilty to a felony charge in the 2009 attack on Rihanna requires that he stay out of legal trouble. The judge will hold another hearing on February 28 to decide his fate after rehab.
The latest probation report praises Brown’s new improved attitude in complying with probation rules. “He appears to have a more serious and responsible demeanor and is responding well to dual diagnosis treatment program and changes in medication,” his probation officer wrote.
Brown is working on a community labor crew three days a week until he completes 1,000 of work ordered by the judge in November. He’s finished 109 hours and still has 809 hours left before his probation can be completed, the probation officer said. At that pace, Brown has another 101 days of work left.
The glowing report is a stark contrast to what the probation officer wrote in November after Brown was booted from another rehab facility after smashing his mother’s car window during a family session.
“There is much concern with the probationer’s new arrest and his violent outburst that resulted in his discharge from a treatment facility,” that probation report said.
Brown and his bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, face assault charges stemming an incident outside the a hotel near the White House in October. The federal prosecutor handling the case offered to let them each plead guilty to one count of simple assault, but they rejected the offers at court last month.