Turns out Rihanna didn’t have to take the witness stand to recount her February 8th assault. Actually she never stepped into the courtroom while Brown was present. Rihanna didn’t find out about the deal until an hour before court was in session. Her lawyer, Donald Etra, said she was ready to testify. Chris Brown’s legal team, led by lawyer Mark Geragos, reached a plea bargain with the prosecution. By pleading guilty to his assault charge Brown will avoid jail time and spend 180 days performing community labor in his native land of Virginia along with attending a domestic violence counseling program. Additionally, Brown will receive five years of supervised probation for the felony assault charge. He previously pleaded not guilty to felony counts of assault and making criminal threats. At a press conference following the plea bargain, Rihanna’s attorney, Donald Etra, said Brown was faced with the choice of serving 180 days of community service or 180 days of prison time. If Brown violates his probation, he will receive up to four years in jail.
After Brown’s plea, the judge said she planned to issue a “stay-away” order that will bar him from contacting or coming near Rihanna until August, but Etra said his client didn’t want it. The judge will consider downgrading the order in August, when Brown is formally sentenced, but until then the two are banned from contacting each other. As long as the order stands, Brown must stay 50 yards away from Rihanna for the next five years. If the pair are present at the same event, the distance will be reduced to 10 yards.