Celebrities, Trials

Chris Brown’s D.C. Trial Will Start In Late April

Chris Brown

Is anyone tired of Chris Brown yet? I was tired of him months ago, then I got a second wind and am still interested in watching him crash.

Yesterday, the trial court heard a motion to dismiss by Brown’s attorney, Mark Geragos.  The motion contended that the prosecutors abused the grand jury process by using it as an opportunity to test their case.  Denying the motion, Judge Patricia Wynn said there is no problem with prosecutors testing their case in seeking an indictment before the grand jury.

Brown was not present at the hearing, having taken the world’s slowest flight to D.C. via the U.S. Marshals Service (five days in total). The court did grant a motion to sever Brown’s bodyguard’s trial from Brown’s trial — which was helpful to the defense, so that the bodyguard can testify for Brown in Brown’s trial…

The specifics of the D.C. charges are obviously contested.  The matter was originally charged as a felony but reduced to a misdemeanor. According to the alleged victim, Christopher Hollosy, he attempted to take a photograph with Brown.  Brown allegedly said, “I’m not down with the gay s***,” and punched Hollosy in his nose, breaking it.  Apparently, Brown’s bodyguard was also reportedly involved in the scuffle.

Brown’s defense is that the fan tried to strong-arm his way onto the bus and the bodyguard used only the force necessary to remove him from the bus.

The alleged victim has filed a $3 million lawsuit.

Though the stakes in D.C. are not too high — the offense carries a maximum of six months — if Brown goes down on the charges, his probation will surely be violated in Los Angeles and he faces almost four years in state prison.

Geragos, Brown’s attorney, famously represented Scott Peterson — the man who was convicted of, and received the death penalty for, murdering his pregnant wife in Modesto, California.  Geragos has been criticized for not putting on much of a mitigation defense to the death penalty.  Indeed, jurors commented that they were offended by hearing evidence about how great Peterson’s golf swing was.  Geragos was also criticized for creating a spectacle by parking a replica boat of the one Scott Peterson allegedly used to dump his wife’s body in the San Francisco bay in a parking lot near the courthouse after the judge refused to let him introduce the replica in court.  The replica had a dummy duct taped and weighted down.  Geragos had contended the replica would show jurors that it would be impossible to dump a body from the boat without capsizing.

No word yet whether Geragos has any similar tricks up his sleeves for Brown’s trial.  I, for one, can’t wait to watch, but there’s no word if cameras will be allowed in the courtroom.  Fingers crossed.

Jenny M. Brandt is a criminal defense and appellate attorney in the Bay Area, California. She loves all things criminal law, celebrity gossip, and corgis, and has a blog at www.juicejusticeandcorgis.com. She graduated from UCLA (’05) and UCLA School of Law (’09) with a concentration in Critical Race Studies.

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