ANTHONY McCARTNEY, AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge revoked Chris Brown’s probation on Thursday but allowed him to remain free for now after the R&B singer traveled without approval for a concert and failed to complete community service on time.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James R. Brandlin said Brown can remain free at least until a March 20 hearing when the judge will receive an update from probation officials.
Brown was ordered by those officials in December not to leave Los Angeles County without permission. However, the Grammy-winning singer performed at a nightclub in San Jose on Jan. 11 without obtaining permission to travel.
Defense attorney Mark Geragos told Brandlin that his office incorrectly advised Brown that he didn’t need permission to travel for the show.
The judge said he accepted Geragos’ explanation, but needed to revoke the singer’s probation to keep control of the case. Brandlin also said it was not unexpected that Brown failed to complete his community service on time.
Brown was supposed to complete 1,000 hours of community labor by the end of January but has roughly 200 hours left, Brandlin said.
A shooting at the San Jose club injured five people, but there were no indications that Brown was involved in the attack. Still, Brandlin ordered probation officials to investigate the shooting and whether there were any issues involving Brown.
In a report, the singer’s probation officer cited another shooting last year involving a Los Angeles nightclub where Brown was present and wrote that Brown is showing poor judgment.
“Though he has shown the ability to be compliant during long stretches of his probation grant, (Brown) continues a pattern of making choices that are counterproductive in his ability to be successful on probation,” Probation Officer Carlos Delgado wrote. “There is also concern that when he performs or attends at (sic) some of his public events, people will get shot or seriously injured.”
Brown has been on probation for his 2009 attack on pop singer Rihanna, then his girlfriend. He was required to complete the community service before the end of January.
Brown appeared in court Thursday with his mother and girlfriend. All three looked somber before the start of the hearing, with Brown spending much of his time with his eyes closed and head down.
The judge said Brown had been making steady progress on the community service aspect of his sentence that requires him to perform manual work such as roadside cleanup or graffiti removal.
The singer avoided probation problems until 2013, when prosecutors questioned whether he completed the terms of his community labor in Virginia. Brandlin briefly revoked Brown’s probation after he was charged with hit-and-run after an accident. That case was later dismissed.
In another case in October 2013, Brown struck a man outside a Washington, D.C., hotel and was charged with misdemeanor assault. Brandlin ordered Brown into rehab, but the singer was expelled from the program in March 2014.
He spent two-and-a-half months in custody before being released in June.
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP
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