Settlement reached in Chris Brown's alleged beating of Rihanna [Updated]
A plea deal has been reached between Los Angeles prosecutors and pop star Chris Brown, who is accused of assaulting singer Rihanna before the Grammy Awards.
Brown will plead guilty to a felony and receive six months in jail or community labor -- such as graffiti removal or trash pickup -- and five years' formal probation. He will also undergo domestic violence counseling. Judge Patricia Schnegg said he will be allowed to complete counseling, community labor and probation in his native Virginia, but is to be treated there like any other offender.
[Updated at 2:15 p.m.: Schnegg says she plans to issue "a stay-away" order barring Chris Brown from having contact with Rihanna. But an attorney for Rihanna said she doesn't want the order. Sources told The Times that Brown's camp initially rejected the plea agreement and had been mulling the settlement for several days.]
[Updated at 2:26 p.m.: "I think it is comendable you took responsibility for your conduct," Schnegg told Brown.
After Chris Brown left with his entourage, Rihanna was brought into the courtroom and informed of the stay-away order by the judge. “Thank you,” she told the judge and then left through a back door of the courtroom.]
Brown, 20, was arrested in February for allegedly beating and threatening Rihanna during an argument in a rented Lamborghini.
The alleged altercation occurred as the couple drove home from a pre-Grammy party. The news that Rihanna was injured and that Brown was wanted by police surfaced the next day as scores of celebrity reporters awaited the couple's arrival on the red carpet.
If convicted of felony assault and criminal threats, Brown would have faced a maximum of five years in prison.
-- Harriet Ryan and Richard Winton
Photo by Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times