Warrant Issued After Bobby Brown Skips Court For AMAs

Singer was told by judge he could not leave Georgia for awards show.

A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of Bobby Brown after the R&B singer chose to go to the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Monday instead of a court appointment that day in Dekalb County, Georgia.

He's expected to turn himself in within the week, his lawyer said.

State Court Judge Wayne M. Purdom issued the warrant Tuesday after Brown missed a weekly appointment with a court bailiff hours before the awards show. Purdom had denied Brown's request to leave the state for the show, and he had ordered the singer not to leave Georgia while awaiting trial on drunk driving and other charges, making Brown's televised appearance at the American Music Awards a violation of his bond.

Brown's trial for the 1996 charges, which include driving under the influence, speeding, failing to maintain lane and having no proof of insurance, has been postponed. It was to start January 21, but because of his bond violation it has been removed from the trial calendar until his surrender, according to an order Purdom filed Wednesday. The judge's order said Brown is "in fugitive status."

Brown was arrested in Atlanta on November 7 on charges of marijuana possession, speeding and having no driver's license or proof of insurance (see "Bobby Brown Arrested For Drug Possession, Speeding"). It was at that point that the older case was revived.

Purdom had earlier cited Brown for contempt of court for failing to show up for a 1997 trial on the previous charges, and this week he added the latest missed appearance and out-of-state travel to the contempt citation.

Brown's lawyer, Xavier Dicks, said his client's failure to appear stemmed from a scheduling conflict, since Brown had requested that Purdom reconsider allowing him to travel to California for the awards show, an appearance for which he was already under contract. That hearing, however, was scheduled for the day of the awards show, forcing Brown to make a difficult decision. "It'd be like asking a football player not to play the Super Bowl," Dicks said.