Judge pushes back court date to Aug. 27
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge has delayed sentencing R&B singer Chris Brown on an assault charge to seek more input from Virginia authorities about whether Brown could do community labor in that state.Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg said at a hearing Wednesday she will sentence Brown on Aug. 27 in the beating of Rihanna, who did not attend the hearing. With Brown in the courtroom, the judge met with a prosecutor and defense attorney briefly before Brown’s scheduled sentencing. When she emerged, Schnegg said Virginia had yet to say if it could accommodate her requirement that Brown serve community labor, rather than community service. The Virginia Department of Corrections said earlier that it typically doesn’t consider whether to supervise a person on probation until after they are sentenced. The 20-year-old Brown pleaded guilty in June to one count of felony assault stemming from the altercation with his then-girlfriend. A plea deal calls for him to serve five years of probation and six months of community labor. The judge has said she wants Brown to do community work comparable to graffiti removal or roadside cleanup. The “Run It!” singer pleaded guilty before a preliminary hearing in which Rihanna was likely to testify. The former couple never faced each other at that hearing. As Brown left through one door, Rihanna entered the courtroom from a private entrance. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Brown’s recommended sentence was in line with what others received when charged with similar crimes and have no prior criminal history. The office does not provide specific information on comparable cases, spokeswoman Jane Robison said. Brown said in a public apology video posted on his Web site July 20 that he had repeatedly apologized to Rihanna for the attack. He called his conduct “inexcusable” and pledged to do better. “I saw firsthand what uncontrolled rage can do,” he told viewers. “I have sought and am continuing to seek help to ensure that what occurred in February can never happen again.” Brown’s career has suffered, with radio stations refusing to play his music and sponsors dropping him.