Thursday, April 3, 2014

Con-Air Flight #985 to DC is Now Boarding, Convicted Felon Chris Brown Please Proceed to the Gate

Tantrum-throwing, fist-throwing and rock-throwing convicted felon Chris Brown is about to embark on an excellent cross-country adventure -- on board Con-Air.
Chris Brown’s trip to face trial in Washington will be on the Justice Department’s “Con Air” prisoner airline, not on a private jet or a first class commercial ticket as the singer hoped. Brown, 24, was transferred into the custody of federal marshals after an extradition hearing in federal court in Los Angeles on Wednesday, according to U.S. Marshals Service spokewoman Laura Vega. Brown will be booked on a series of government planes that hopscotch across the country taking inmates from prison to prison, Vega said. The trip, with several layovers in jails along the way, could take up to two weeks, she said. Unlike Brown’s usual mode of touring the country in luxury, he will be wearing handcuffs and possibly chains on his legs. Brown has been confined to the Los Angeles County jail since he was booted from a court-ordered rehab program three weeks ago. The U.S. Attorney in Washington petitioned for Brown to be extradited from Los Angeles to D.C. for his April 17 trial. Brown and his bodyguard are accused of assaulting a man on a D.C. sidewalk last October. The singer is on probation for the 2009 felony assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna. Brown lawyer Mark Geragos said Brown would attend a pretrial hearing in Washington on April 7. Geragos tried to persuade Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin to release Brown from jail so he could fly on his own to Washington. Prosecutors opposed that request and suggested the decision should be made by a federal judge. Brown’s legal troubles began five years ago when he beat Rihanna as the two were in a rented Lamborghini on a Hollywood street. He pleaded guilty to felony assault in June 2009, which resulted in a sentence of five years of probation and 1,400 hours of community labor. The judge has revoked Brown’s probation twice in the last year, most recently because of his arrest on a sidewalk near the White House after allegedly punching a man. Brown voluntarily entered a rehab program a day after being released from a Washington jail in October, but he was kicked out a few days later for “throwing a rock through his mother’s car window” after a family session at the center, a probation report said. Brown was upset because his mother said she wanted him to stay in treatment, the report said. “Mr. Brown preceded to walk outside and pick up a rock and threw it through his mother’s car window and it shattered,” according to a letter from the rehab center included in the probation report. His probation was revoked last November, but the judge allowed him to stay out of jail by entering a 90-day anger management and drug rehab program. Although he completed that program last month, the judge ordered him to remain a resident at the Malibu treatment facility until another hearing on April 23. Brown’s probation officer reported at a February hearing that the singer “continues to make great improvement” in dealing with anger, stress and drugs, but the judge decided he could not go free until after his trial for an assault charge in Washington on April 17. If he is convicted in that case, the judge would decide at an April 23 hearing if Brown should complete his probation in jail. He was sent to jail on on March 14 after he was kicked out of the second rehab program for rules violations. The judge said he was concerned about a “provocative” statement counselors said Brown wrote on a card at the Malibu rehab center. “I am good at using guns and knives,” according to a document read in court. The rehab program told Brown to leave because of that statement and two other rules violations, the document said. Brown refused a drug test — which his lawyer denied — and he touched elbows with a female patient, according to the document. Brown had been working on a highway cleanup labor crew in Los Angeles three days a week to fulfill the 750 hours of service remaining in his probation requirements, his probation report said. At that rate, Brown could complete the labor in mid-October and possibly be free from probation requirements by the end of the year. With his community labor work now on hold, his probation is expected to extend into 2015.

source: CNN via WTVR
By the way, Judge Brandlin could sentence Chris to up to four years in prison if he determines that the singer violated his probation.

Update, April 7: A D.C. Superior Court judge denied a request by convicted felon Chris Brown's attorneys to dismiss the misdemeanor assault case, but ruled the the singer and his bodyguard can have separate trials. Chris wasn't in court because his Con-Air flight didn't arrive in DC. (The flight arrived later on the afternoon, five days after it began in Los Angeles.) Marshals service spokesman said he will be held in a Washington-area jail until his trial. The judge also ruled Chris and his bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, 35, can have separate trials because Christopher wants to testify on Chris' behalf. That sounds like a terrible idea, but that's what they want. The bodyfuard's trial will be on April 17. On April 18, depending on the outcome of the trial, Chris' trial could begin. There will not be a jury in either trial since they are misdemeanor cases.
Also Monday, attorneys for Brown and Hollosy argued the case should be dismissed because they said prosecutors violated their clients’ rights when prosecutors had a witness to the incident testify before a grand jury. That witness, the attorneys said, originally told prosecutors that it was Hollosy who struck the victim. But before the grand jury, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Chambers said the witness “corrected” her statement and said it was Brown who struck the victim. Defense attorneys argued the case should be thrown out because they were not aware that the witness was being called in the misdemeanor case. Prosecutors said having the witness testify was appropriate. The judge agreed with the prosecutors. In the third motion of the day, Wynn also agreed with prosecutors that a crucial statement made by Hollosy at the time of the altercation, can be used in his trial. During the hearing, prosecutors called D. C. detective Kimberly Metivier who arrived on the scene on the night of the assault. Metivier testified that when she arrived, Brown was sitting on his custom-made, tour bus, parked outside the hotel. Metivier told the judge when she arrived, Hollosy had gotten off the bus and began yelling. “He hit the victim, not Brown. He said to arrest him, not Mr. Brown,” Metivier testified. “He wanted to make it very clear that he punched the victim, not Brown.” Hollosy’s attorney, Bernie Grimm argued his client had not been read his rights when he made the statements and his comments should not be allowed as evidence in the trial. To illustrate his case, Grimm played a security video obtained from the Treasury Department’s security camera across the street from the hotel. The video showed Hollosy standing in the doorway of the bus. In front of him stood secret service agents, who had responded to the 911 call, as well several police officers. The video also showed parked police cars around the parked bus. Grimm argued his client was in actual custody when he made the statements. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Kendra Briggs argued he was not. “He made a simple statement to police telling them what happened when the detective asked him what happened. There was no interrogation and he was not in custody,” Briggs said. Wynn agreed with prosecutors and ruled Hollosy’s statements could be used as evidence during his trial. What actually happened on the morning of Oct. 27 is still disputed. Metivier testified Hollosy told police that the victim tried to board Brown’s tour bus after Brown refused to take a picture with him and that he was protecting Brown and his property when he struck him. But in the $3 million lawsuit filed by the victim, Parker Adams, 20, of Beltsville, Adams said the men punched him in the face after Brown refused to take a picture with him. Adams filed the lawsuit in February against both men. His attorney, John C. Hayes, Jr. later added his client never tried to board Brown’s tour bus.

source: Washington Post

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