Originally created 02/28/04

Brown sentenced to 60 days in jail for probation violation

ATLANTA -- Singer Bobby Brown was sentenced on Friday to 60 days in jail for violating his probation on a drunken driving charge.

The singer was sentenced for five violations including his refusal to take drug tests and pay his probation fees. Brown also had been charged for failing to provide proof that he underwent counseling and completed his house arrest.

The fifth violation relates to a December misdemeanor battery charge in which police said Brown hit his wife, Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston, leaving her with a bruised cheek and a cut inside her lip. Brown is scheduled to appear May 5 in a Fulton County court on that charge.

On Friday, Brown was able to prove he had paid the $105 in fees, had gone to counseling and had completed his community service. That was enough for State Court Judge Wayne Purdom to cut his sentence in half.

"Since you did complete most of the original conditions, I don't feel obliged to sentence you to 120 days," Purdom told the singer.

There was no mention of the battery charge during the hearing. Brown thanked the judge before being quickly escorted to jail.

Houston was not present at the sentencing. Brown's family and attorney said they did not know why she missed the hearing.

Brown's attorney, Vincent Dimmock, brought a suit for the singer, but Purdom wanted Brown to be treated like an ordinary prisoner. Brown wore the standard orange DeKalb County jumpsuit to the hearing.

Brown will get credit for the week he has spent in jail since his Feb. 20 hearing when Dimmock asked that the 35-year-old singer's probation-revocation hearing be continued.

Brown was more than halfway through a two-year probation stint passed down in January 2003 after the R&B singer pleaded guilty to a 1996 drunken-driving charge.

His current incarceration marks the second time in six months that Brown has been in jail. He served seven days in the Dekalb County jail last August for a probation violation.

After the hearing, his mother, Carole Brown, said she felt Purdom was "very fair."

She added that she will support her son when he completes his jail sentence.

"I will support him in all his endeavors, and I'm sure they are all going to be positive," she said. "He's not a bad boy, Bobby Brown."

Dimmock, who is also R&B singer Faith Evans' attorney on drug charges in Atlanta, said he didn't challenge Brown's sentence because it could have been worse. Because Brown had violated his probation, the judge could have put him in jail until January, when his probation is set to expire.

"These were indeed minor infractions, but the law says any infraction, no matter how minimal, is an infraction," Dimmock said.

Purdom said Brown would get credit for the week he's already spent in jail, and if offered leniency for good behavior, Brown could be released in as soon as 23 days.

Brown and Houston, 40, have been married since 1992 and have a 10-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina.

Brown left R&B group New Edition in the late 1980s for a solo career. His hits include "My Prerogative" and "Every Little Step."


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