Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chris Brown pleads guilty, is sentenced

Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to misdemeanour assault.

The 25-year-old R&B star was accused of hitting a man outside a hotel in Washington in October last year. At the time he was on probation following his assault on his ex-girlfriend Rihanna.

"I'm sorry, I am very sorry," Brown told the judge in the brief hearing in a District of Columbia court.

The judge sentenced Brown, 25, to time served -- the one day he was locked up after his arrest -- and no probation for the simple assault conviction. He must also pay a $150 fine.

Initially the singer pleaded not guilty to the charge and also rejected several plea deals, resulting in a trial being set for April. It was then delayed, in part because of the ramifications of the case on Chris' other legal issues.

The star had his probation for the assault on Rihanna revoked last year after he was accused of the Washington assault. He had previously checked into rehab voluntarily, but was then sentenced to 90 days in an anger management facility during a probation violation hearing after it was heard he had thrown rocks at his mother's car.

Chris was kicked out of rehab and arrested in March after he told a group therapy session he was "good at using guns and knives" and refused a drug session. This meant he had to go to prison and he was sentenced to 131 additional days in May - with the judge initially handing down 365 days, but taking into account the 234 he'd already spent in jail and rehab. He was finally released the following month.

The star's lawyer Danny Onorato has argued Chris has already paid a heavy price for the Washington assault, noting both his time behind bars and in rehab.

"To say that he's been punished severely in this matter is an understatement," he is quoted as saying by AP. The attorney apparently added that Chris' career has been on hold for 12 months, but he now wants to focus on promoting his music.

The star spoke only briefly in court, telling those present he was sorry for his actions. Fans and photographers formed a crush as he left, but he didn't make a statement.

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