A judge today sentenced Chris Brown to five years’ probation and six months’ community labor for the beating of Rihanna and issued a stern admonition to the R&B singer. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg told Brown that he could be sent to state prison if he violated any terms of his sentence, including an order to stay away from Rihanna for the next five years. A probation report prepared for today’s sentencing describes two previous violent incidents. It said the first happened about three months before the February beating while the couple was traveling in Europe; Rihanna slapped Brown during an argument, and he shoved her into a wall. In the second instance, Brown allegedly broke the front and passenger side windows on a Range Rover they were driving while visiting Barbados, Rihanna’s home country. Neither attack was reported, the probation report states. Brown will serve his sentence in his home state — Virginia — and his community labor will be overseen by Richmond’s chief of police, the judge said. Brown lives in Montpelier and is a native of Tappahannock. The judge said she wanted to ensure that Brown, 20, performs physical labor instead of community service, such as mentoring young people. Rihanna did not attend today’s sentencing. At one point, Brown, who was accompanied by his mother, agreed to the terms of the sentence before Schnegg had finished going through them all. The hearing had been planned for Thursday afternoon, but Brown’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, asked to move up the singer’s sentencing to today. A previous attempt to sentence Brown was postponed when Schnegg said she hadn’t received adequate assurances that Brown would perform physical labor if allowed to serve probation in Virginia. The judge said she was satisfied with a letter presented by Geragos that Richmond Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood will directly oversee Brown’s labor program. Chief Norwood confirmed this evening that his department will supervise Brown’s community service. “Judge Schnegg may be assured that we will be diligent in maintaining the proper records of Mr. Brown’s work activities and schedule,“ Norwood said in a statement. “We welcome Chris Brown back to Richmond, and we assure everyone involved that the command of the court will be followed,“ Norwood said. After Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in June, Schnegg ordered Rihanna and Brown to stay away from each other and to not contact one another. Her order today essentially extended that for the next five years. Donald Etra, Rihanna’s attorney, has said he didn’t think the strict rules were necessary, and that he and Rihanna favored a less-stringent ruling that simply ordered Brown not to annoy, harass or molest the 21-year-old pop singer. Schnegg said she was aware of reports that Brown had been spotted on several occasions in the same places as Rihanna. “I am not amused with the chatter that has been on the airwaves and any violation of your probation in this case comes with the potential for state prison,“ Schnegg told Brown. Brown was arrested Feb. 8, hours after he was accused of beating Rihanna. The attack occurred in Los Angeles’ Hancock Park neighborhood as Brown drove a rented sports car. A Los Angeles police detective described a brutal attack in a search warrant affidavit filed in the case, stating Brown hit, choked and bit Rihanna and tried at one point to push her from the car. Brown’s career suffered after his arrest, with sponsors dropping him and radio stations refusing to play his music. Both he and Rihanna had to cancel several high-profile appearances, including planned performances at the Grammy Awards the day of the attack. A felony charge of making criminal threats was dropped during today’s sentencing.
/ Source: WSLS 10