At the request of Brown’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, L.A. Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg granted a delay in the case, with the next hearing set for May 28. Brown, 19, who has pleaded not guilty, did not attend the hearing. He was not required to show.
Geragos indicated at court Wednesday that he intends to file a motion to dismiss the case because of police leaks in the investigation, apparently a reference to Rihanna’s injury photo that surfaced on the Internet, among other details.
“If Geragos makes an issue of leaked evidence, it’s unlikely the judge will dismiss the case,” says L.A. criminal defense attorney Jeffery Rubenstein, who’s not involved in the case. “It’s not police conduct at issue here, it’s Chris Brown’s.”
Rihanna’s attorney Donald Etra had sought the return of approximately $1 million in jewelry taken into evidence. All sides agreed that the items were to be photographed by police and returned to Rihanna, who had them on loan from jewelers.
The next step in the case is setting a preliminary hearing – in which Rihanna, 21, could be subpoenaed to testify – so the court can determine if there’s enough evidence for a trial. If that hearing goes forward, it will happen within eight court days of May 28.
But the case may wrap up before then. Legal experts say Brown could strike a plea deal with prosecutors, that may include some jail time, at any time.
Although Rihanna and Brown have spent time apart, the pair recently reunited in L.A. before Rihanna headed to her native Barbados to be with friends and family.
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