Nearly a month after he allegedly got into an altercation with girlfriend Rihanna that resulted in his arrest, [artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] is scheduled to appear in Los Angeles court on Thursday (March 5) to be arraigned in the case.
TMZ reported on Wednesday that the Los Angeles district attorney had received the case from the Los Angeles Police Department. Unidentified sources told the site that the DA was preparing to review the criminal threats allegation and possibly file additional or different charges against the 19-year-old singer, including felony domestic battery.
Brown is expected to appear in court for the arraignment, and TMZ reported that even if Rihanna — who reportedly reunited with Brown over the weekend at a mansion owned by Diddy in Miami — refuses to cooperate with prosecutors, the DA's office has evidence beyond the disturbing photo of a battered Rihanna that was leaked several weeks ago. On Wednesday night, "Extra" ran footage of what the show said was the bloodstained Lamborghini in which the altercation allegedly took place.
TMZ reported that according to unnamed sources, on the night of the alleged attack — during which Brown is alleged to have bitten Rihanna on the arm and hand and struck her face — Rihanna told police that Brown had been violent to her in the past and that the attacks were getting "more violent" as time went on, a pattern that domestic-violence experts have told MTV News is not unusual in such cases.
According to E! Online, Brown's attorneys are in negotiations with the DA's office about a possible plea deal that would allow the singer to get probation in the case rather than jail time over the alleged February 8 assault. The site reported that an unnamed source said Brown's high-powered attorney, Mark Geragos, was seen meeting with prosecutors earlier in the week and that the lawyers were discussing a deal that would allow Brown to avoid jail time if he pleads guilty to a misdemeanor. Spokespeople for Brown and Rihanna have not returned calls or e-mails requesting comment on the matter, and the DA's office could not be reached for comment at press time.
A possible factor that could derail the case is Rihanna's recent reunion with Brown, E! reported. "They have a victim who's back together with her alleged attacker, and some conflicting statements from each side," an unnamed source told the site. "It's not the slam dunk they hoped it would be." But criminal-defense attorney Daniel Perlman, who is not working on the case, pointed out that prosecutors routinely take domestic-violence cases to trial even after an alleged victim has taken back previous statements.
"It happens all the time and does not deter prosecutors," Perlman told the site. "Here, she was clearly injured, and there is enough evidence to proceed with or without her cooperation."
E! also reported that among the evidence turned over to prosecutors in the case is a "bloodstained Gucci gown" identified as the one Rihanna wore to Clive Davis' annual Pre-Grammy Gala at the Beverly Hilton, which the couple attended just hours before the alleged incident.
"The police took Rihanna's dress into evidence because it had bloodstains on it," an unnamed source close to the investigation said.
The site also reported that hours after the alleged attack, the LAPD filed an emergency protective order at Rihanna's request, which barred Brown from having contact with her. The order, which an attorney said is standard practice in domestic-violence cases, reportedly expired five days later.