Chris Brown has been charged with two felonies stemming from his alleged February 8th attack on Rihanna, Us Weekly reports. Specifically, he is facing assault by means likely to create great bodily injury and a felony charge of making a criminal threat. Brown will be arraigned at 3:30 pm today in Los Angeles. Given the nature of the charges and the severity of Rihanna’s visible injuries, the 19-year-old R&B star could face up to nine years in prison.
A leaked police search warrant published by TMZ today appears to provide more details about the couple’s argument that spiraled into violence in the early-morning hours before the Grammy Awards. According to the LAPD detectives’ notes on the document, the dispute between Brown and Rihanna began after she discovered a lengthy text message from another woman on Brown’s phone while the two were traveling in Brown’s rented Lamborghini. As the two verbally argued, Brown allegedly tried to push Rihanna out of the vehicle, but she was buckled in, so instead he hit her head against the passenger window. While he was driving, he punched her in the face numerous times, bloodying Rihanna’s mouth.
“I’m going to beat the [expletive] out of you when we get home,” Brown reportedly said to Rihanna (TMZ edited the note, so it’s unclear what term Brown used). The “Umbrella” singer then called her assistant to say, “I am on my way home. Make sure the cops are there when I get there.” Brown allegedly replied, “You just did the stupidest thing ever. I’m going to kill you.” That last comment is likely what resulted in the criminal threat charge. (Track the couple’s fateful Grammy Weekend in photos.)
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News that Brown and Rihanna had reconciled and reunited shortly after the Barbadian singer’s 21st birthday have led many to speculate that she will refuse to testify against Brown. But even without Rihanna’s cooperation, crime-scene photos and her original statements to police will provide the district attorney with evidence to build a case. Brown’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, is reportedly already exploring the possibility of a plea bargain.
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• Shocking Photo of Rihanna’s “Horrific” Facial Injuries Leaks