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Closed-door hearing set in Chris Brown-Rihanna assault case

March 12, 2009 | 10:48 am

Attorneys for singer Chris Brown have requested a March 23 hearing behind closed doors to discuss the future of his assault case involving pop star Rihanna.

Los Angeles district attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison said her office received the request by defense attorneys and that the case was moved to Judge Patricia Schnegg's courtroom. Schnegg signed the search warrant that revealed details that Brown allegedly struck and bit Rihanna repeatedly on the night of Feb. 8, just before the Grammy Awards.

A source close to the case says the hearing centers on potential testimony from witnesses in the case. Prosecutors will be present during the in-chamber hearing.

Court documents allege that singer Chris Brown savagely attacked Rihanna  and threatened to kill her.

Brown was charged with two felonies that carry the possibility of prison time. In a complaint filed this morning, the L.A. County district attorney accused Brown, 19, of assault "by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury" and criminal threats. The charges carry a sentence ranging from probation to almost five years in prison, according to prosecutors.

The document identified the victim in the Feb. 8 incident as "Robyn F." Rihanna’s full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. In the complaint, prosecutors allege that Brown threatened "to commit a crime which would result in death" to Rihanna and that what Brown threatened "was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey ... a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution."

--Richard Winton