Chris Brown pleaded not guilty
The 19-year-old singer appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom to answer charges of felony assault and making criminal threats in relation to his alleged attack on Rihanna in February.music Updated: Apr 07, 2009 19:41 IST
The 19-year-old singer appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom to answer charges of felony assault and making criminal threats in relation to his alleged attack on Rihanna in February.
Wearing a black sweater, tie and trousers, Chris was joined in the courtroom by his mother and lawyer Mark Geragos.
Chris waived the right to have a preliminary hearing within 10 days, with the judge setting the next hearing - which Chris is not required to attend for April 29.
Geragos said "more discovery was needed" in the case, meaning there is more evidence to review.
Chris is accused of punching, biting and choking Rihanna until she was unconscious in his rented silver Lamborghini on February 8.
If convicted, he could be sent to prison for over four years. Rihanna, 21, did not attend the hearing, but her lawyer Donald Etra confirmed she is co-operating with proceedings.
Etra said outside the courtroom: "Nothing's changed with regard to Rihanna's stance toward this case. She will testify if subpoenaed and will do everything that's required of her to do."
It is believed Chris will eventually accept a plea bargain for lesser charges, which could lead to him gaining a reduced jail sentence or probation.
Asked about the likelihood of a plea deal, Etra said: "I believe there are efforts by all parties involved to resolve this case expeditiously. That would be beneficial to everyone. Rihanna would be pleased if this case were resolved quickly and fairly."
Rihanna's father Ronald Fenty has expressed his concern at Chris' not guilty plea, claiming the teenager should take responsibility for his actions.
He said: "Chris needs to stop being in denial. So what happened? Somebody else did this to Rihanna then? I would like to see justice go in the right direction.
"Who did it - that's the question now. If he's not guilty, who did it? He should say 'guilty' and let the court be leaning into him and try himself to the mercy of the court, see if he gets a fine. I think he's a talented guy, but everybody should have to pay. When you do the crime, you do the time."
First Published: Apr 07, 2009 16:51 IST