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Singer Chris Brown's community service focus of court hearing

April 05, 2013|By Andrew Blankstein | This post has been corrected. See note below for details.
  • Singer Chris Brown appears in court for a probation violation hearing in February in Los Angeles.
Singer Chris Brown appears in court for a probation violation hearing in… (David McNew )

Chris Brown is due in a downtown courtroom Friday afternoon for the first time since February when prosecutors accused him of failing to complete court-ordered community service.

Prosecutors had argued that proof of the R&B singer's service for a 2009 assault conviction was fraudulent.

Superior Court Judge James Brandlin has yet to rule on whether Brown must serve additional community service time in Los Angeles County. If the singer does not fulfill his obligation to the court, he could be sent to jail.

But the judge also is expected to review a report from Brown's probation officer--with documentation provided by the singer's attorney, Mark Geragos--relating to his community service.

Brown is on five years' probation after pleading guilty to a felony count of assault in connection with a 2009 attack on then-girlfriend Rihanna. As part of his probation, he was required to perform 180 days of community labor in Virginia.

Geragos said his client had completed his court-ordered labor. But on Feb. 5, Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary A. Murray filed a motion outlining a series of inconsistencies with a report prepared by Richmond, Va., police about the number of community service hours Brown had served.

Murray said a review of Brown's community service claims found "significant discrepancies indicating at best sloppy documentation and at worst fraudulent reporting," and she asked a judge to order Brown to carry out his court-ordered labor in Los Angeles County instead of Virginia, where he lives.

In one instance, prosecutors said Brown claimed he completed four hours of trash pickup between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on a day when he was actually on a private plane to Cancun that he boarded at 4 p.m.

Another time, prosecutors said the entertainer claimed he was picking up trash in Richmond, while news photographers were snapping him 100 miles away in Washington, D.C., where he hosted a charity event that raised funds for the developmentally disabled, prosecutors contended.

Geragos vigorously disputed the allegations, accusing prosecutors of making "scurrilous, libelous and defamatory statements" against the R&B star.

"The motion is a disgrace, and the D.A. should be embarrassed, and I plan on asking for sanctions against the D.A.," Geragos said. "I also encourage the Richmond Police Department to take legal action against the L.A. district attorney."

[For the Record, 8:14 a.m. April 5: A previous version of this post said Chris Brown's Friday court appearance would be the first since prosecutors made their claims. It will be his first since February.]

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andrew.blankstein@latimes.com

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