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Saturday 19 April 2014

Judge rejects Chris Brown jail bid

Chris Brown remains on probation for an attack on then-girlfriend Rihanna hours before the 2009 Grammy Awards (AP)

A judge has turned down a prosecutor's bid to send troubled singer Chris Brown to jail, citing his continued good behaviour and progress in a rehabilitation programme.

Brown, who remains on probation for an attack on then-girlfriend Rihanna hours before the 2009 Grammy Awards, was sentenced to three months of in-patient rehab in November after he was charged with assault over an altercation in Washington DC last year.

Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray sought to have Brown thrown in jail and called for a full probation violation hearing, which would have resulted in evidence about the Washington case being presented to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

"He continues to pose an increasingly violent danger to society," Murray wrote in a motion, citing the Washington case and an incident in which Brown threw a brick through his mother's car window after a therapy session.

But Judge James Brandlin said probation officials reported that Brown was making good progress in treatment and must remain in the programme unless he is given permission by the court or his probation officer.

Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos argued that the court should wait to see how the Washington case was resolved before having a hearing. Brown's lawyers have said the singer is not guilty and rejected a plea deal. The case is due back in court on February 20.

Brandlin ordered Brown to return to court on February 28 to update him on his progress. He said the singer had already completed 191 of 1,000 hours of community service that were ordered after Brandlin found the Grammy winner violated his probation after failing to exchange information properly after a car crash last year.

He said probation officials reported that Brown "appears to have a more serious and responsible demeanour" since checking into rehab.

The singer voluntarily checked into rehab for anger management treatment on October 29, days after he was arrested in Washington when a man accused Brown of punching him after he tried to get in a photo with him.

Press Association

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