The Los Angeles District Attorney's office charged [artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] with felony assault and a felony count of making criminal threats in connection with his [article id="1606362"]alleged altercation with girlfriend Rihanna[/article] on February 8, according to a statement released by the office. The charges, which came during an arraignment Thursday (March 5) in Los Angeles, could land the 19-year-old singer in jail for up to seven years, according to CNN.
Brown is officially charged with one count each of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats.
"R&B singer Chris Brown was charged by the District Attorney's office today with felony counts of assault and making criminal threats in connection with a February incident in which his girlfriend allegedly was physically attacked," the statement reads, not naming Rihanna as the victim, per department policy on such domestic-violence matters — although it later refers to the victim as "Robyn F." Rihanna's given name is Robyn Fenty.
The case file says the alleged crime occurred "on or between" February 7 and February 8, "when the defendant and the victim, identified only as Robyn F., were driving to a residence in the Hancock Park [Los Angeles] area." Brown and Rihanna are alleged to have gotten into a heated argument after leaving the annual Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala on February 7; neither artist attended the Grammys the next night, where both were scheduled to perform and both were up for awards.
According to a copy of the sworn police statement used to build the case — put together from text-message and cell phone records from the night in question — CNN reported that the argument was reportedly sparked when the victim found a text on Brown's phone from "a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with."
Earlier Thursday, Fox 11 News in Los Angeles and TMZ.com released what were claimed to be details of the [article id="1606362"]search warrant in the case[/article]. The warrant reportedly says that Rihanna and Brown were driving in his rented Lamborghini when Rihanna read him a three-page text message from the unidentified woman. An argument reportedly ensued. The report alleges that Brown tried to force Rihanna out of the car, shoved Rihanna's head against the passenger window, struck her several times, bit her and and put her in a headlock, nearly causing her to lose consciousness.
The CNN report claims that, according to the statement, Brown "continued to punch her in the face with his right hand while steering the vehicle with his left hand." After Rihanna reportedly bent over and tried to protect her face from Brown's punches, he allegedly continued to strike her and throw her cell phone out of the car window when she attempted to call one of her personal assistants.
[article id="1606345"]Brown is scheduled to appear[/article] at an arraignment after 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court; he remains free on $50,000 bail following his arrest on suspicion of making criminal threats.
Brown's attorneys were reportedly working on a plea agreement in the days leading up to the charges. The couple [article id="1606071"]reportedly reconciled[/article] last weekend at a home owned by Diddy in Miami, but Rihanna is reported to have [article id="1604672"]cooperated with police[/article] in the initial investigation into the incident, which reportedly left her with serious contusions on her head, bruising on her face and bite marks on her hand and arm.
Go [article id="1605165"]here for domestic-violence resources[/article], or check out Think MTV for a video handbook on spotting the warning signs of abuse.
[This story was originally published at 1:41 pm E.T. on 03.05.2009]