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Chris Brown returns to court for probation issues

Thursday - 2/7/2013, 11:54am  ET

Singer Chris Brown, left, appears in court with his attorney Mark Geragos for a probation revocation hearing at the Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Prosecutors are seeking probation revocation because they say they could not find credible evidence that Brown completed his community labor sentence stemming from the 2009 beating of his girlfriend Rihanna. (AP Photo/David McNew, Pool)

LINDA DEUTSCH
AP Special Correspondent

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- With the woman he assaulted throwing him a kiss, Chris Brown walked into court Wednesday to face allegations he failed to complete his community labor sentence for Rihanna's 2009 beating.

A judge asked for more information and scheduled another hearing in two months.

Rihanna, the glamorous singer whose bruised face became a tabloid fixture after she was beaten by her then-boyfriend on the way to the Grammys, has been dating Brown again.

She arrived with the R&B star, his mother and two other women and blew him a kiss as he entered the courtroom. They left together after the short proceeding in which Superior Court Judge James Brandlin set the next hearing for April 5.

Brown's lawyer, Mark Geragos, said he was disturbed about the way the district attorney handled the matter and said he would be filing a motion opposing the prosecution's move to modify Brown's fulfillment of his community labor sentence.

Prosecutors, who said they could find no credible evidence that Brown had completed his community labor in his home state of Virginia, asked that he start all over and put in 180 days in Los Angeles County.

Prosecutors have suggested there was either sloppy record keeping or fraudulent reporting.

Later in the day, Geragos filed an angry response, alleging that prosecutors submitted material to the court that was "DEAD WRONG" and asking they be sanctioned.

He offered details of Brown's various community labor stints clearing brush at stables, shredding documents, painting walls and picking up trash.

In a news conference Geragos said, "I've never had a client, and I've represented a wide breadth and thousands of clients, never ever had a client who has been tortured by a DA's office on probation like Chris Brown has."

He said Rihanna was present in support because "she thinks it's utterly ridiculous what they're doing to him, as do I."

He said prosecutions launched a "vicious and unwarranted attack on Mr. Brown" and officials in Richmond, Va., who oversaw his community labor program.

He submitted a letter from a Richmond Police Department official disputing the prosecution's claims of shoddy record keeping and inadequate supervision in Brown's home state where he was allowed to fulfill the requirements.

The judge noted during the brief court session that a prosecution filing did not request revocation of Brown's probation and he, therefore, would not revoke it.

The prosecution motion filed Tuesday also raised for the first time in Brown's felony assault case several incidents that prosecutors said demonstrate Brown has ongoing anger management issues.

The motion cited a Jan. 27 fight between Brown and fellow R&B star Frank Ocean, and a 2011 outburst in which Brown threw a chair through a window after he was asked about the Rihanna attack on "Good Morning America."

The filing represents a dramatic shift in the case against Brown, who was repeatedly praised by another judge overseeing his case for his completion of domestic violence courses and his community service work in his home state of Virginia.

That changed in September, when prosecutors raised concerns about Brown's community service after he logged 701 hours in seven months -- an amount that had previously taken him more than two years to achieve.

Los Angeles investigators traveled to Richmond, Va., to investigate Brown's service.

"This inquiry provided no credible, competent or verifiable evidence that defendant Brown performed his community labor as presented to this court," Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray wrote.

Brown's attorney Geragos blasted the court filing, saying the prosecutor ignored interviews "where sworn peace officers stated unequivocally that Mr. Brown was supervised and did all of the community service."

Brown's case was transferred to Brandlin after a recent shuffling of judicial assignments.

After pleading guilty to the Rihanna attack, Brown was given permission to serve 180 days of community labor in Virginia, but only as long as he performed manual labor such as graffiti removal and roadside cleanup.

Given problems with documentation and statements from some witnesses who contradict Brown's claims of work, prosecutors asked Brandlin to order Brown to repeat his service in Los Angeles.

Brown spent one-third of the hours he logged in Virginia working night shifts at a day care center in rural Virginia where his mother once served as director and where the singer spent time as a child.

A detective who checked on Brown's work nine times at the Tappahannock Children's Center found the singer, his mother and a bodyguard at the center on each visit.

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