Chris Brown rejects plea deal

This Is Local London: Singer Chris Brown leaves the District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington (AP) Singer Chris Brown leaves the District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington (AP)

Lawyers for singer Chris Brown told a judge that he has rejected a plea deal on a charge that he hit a man outside a Washington hotel.

Prosecutors had offered a deal in which Chris would plead guilty to the misdemeanour assault charge he faces.

One of Chris's lawyers, Danny Onorato, said outside court that lawyers rejected the deal because Chris is not guilty.

Chris's lawyers said in court that they expect a trial date to be set at another hearing, scheduled for February 20.

Chris did not speak during the hearing, which lasted less than 10 minutes. He wore a charcoal three-piece suit and had dark hair, not the bleached blond hair he had sported when he was arrested in October along with his bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, who also faces an assault charge.

The R&B singer was arrested after a man said the singer struck him outside the W Hotel when he tried to get in a picture Chris was taking with two other people. Hollosy is also accused of striking the man.

Prosecutors said in court they will be turning over substantial video surveillance shortly but did not say what it shows.

At the time Chris was charged in Washington, the Grammy winner was on probation in California for a 2009 attack on singer Rihanna, his then-girlfriend. As a result of the new charge, a judge in December revoked Chris's probation in California, but the ruling did not alter a requirement that Chris complete rehab and community service including roadside clean-up and graffiti removal.

Chris has to return to court in California on February 10 for an update on his progress in rehab.

Mark Geragos, the lawyer who is representing Chris in the California case, took part in the hearing in Washington. Mr Geragos said that Chris's lawyers plan to ask that he not have to appear at the February 20 hearing in Washington because he loses three days of treatment by making the trip.

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