D.C. prosecutors have accused the attorneys who are defending R&B singer Chris Brown in his assault case of the unorthodox practice of shopping for a specific judge to oversee the upcoming trial.
In documents filed in D.C. Superior Court Friday, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Chambers and Kendra Briggs complained that Brown’s attorneys have requested that the case be heard by a judge “named by the defense.”
Brown, 24, and his bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, 35, each were charged with one count of misdemeanor assault after an October altercation with a fan outside the W Hotel in downtown Washington. Brown’s attorneys have said Brown is innocent and that he and Hollosy were protecting him and his property.
Prosecutors did not identify which judge the defense attorneys were allegedly seeking. In the filing, the government argued that it should be up to the chief judge — not the defense team — to determine which courtroom or which judge should hear the case, which is set for trial on April 17.
Brown’s attorney Danny Onorato denied the prosecutors’ accusations saying neither he nor Hollosy’s attorney, Bernie Grimm, made such a request. “It’s a preposterous motion,” Onorato said in a telephone interview Friday.
The Brown case is currently assigned to Judge Patricia A. Wynn, Onorato said. However, because it is a misdemeanor case, another judge could wind up hearing the case depending on Wynn’s availability at the time of trial, which attorneys said could last about three days.
Meanwhile, the status of the April 17 date could be questionable. Earlier this month, a Los Angeles judge ordered that Brown be locked up in a California jail until April 23 after Brown allegedly made comments about using guns while he was in a court-mandated rehabilitation facility. Brown had been ordered to the inpatient facility as part of his plea deal in connection with his 2009 conviction of assaulting his then girlfriend, pop star Rihanna.
D.C. prosecutors said they still plan on trying the assault case on April 17.
And while Friday’s filing was unusual, very little in the case has been traditional. While most misdemeanor cases are decided in a single day, the court has scheduled an April 7 hearing to discuss evidence.
A source familiar with the case who spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is pending, said prosecutors in D.C. are seeking to have Brown flown to Washington for the scheduled April 17 trial date. And with crowds of fans expected, the court has prepared for heightened security.
The victim in the case, Parker Isaac Adams, 20, of Beltsville, has filed a $3 million lawsuit against Brown and Hollosy, suing each for $1.5 million. In the lawsuit, Adams said he suffered a broken nose and other injuries to his face in the altercation.