Singer Chris Brown rejects plea deal in assault case

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 8, 2014 4:29pm EST

WASHINGTON Jan 8 (Reuters) - Grammy-winning R&B singer Chris Brown has rejected a plea deal in a misdemeanor assault case stemming from an altercation outside a Washington hotel, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Brown, 24, is charged with breaking the nose of a Maryland man who tried to get a picture with him in October. His bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, faces the same charge.

Brown's lawyer, Danny Onorato, told reporters the deal had been rejected because "Chris Brown's not guilty."

He said he expected a date for a trial at the District of Columbia Superior Court to be set at a Feb. 20 hearing.

When they left the courthouse, Brown and his lawyers were surrounded by federal marshals as a shoving crowd of onlookers and media tried to get close to the singer.

In 2009, Brown was sentenced to five years' probation, community labor and domestic violence counseling after assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna.

Brown's probation was revoked by a Los Angeles judge last month following the Washington fracas. He was not taken into custody because of good reports on his progress in a court-ordered rehab program.

The singer had also had his probation revoked in July after he was charged in a May hit-and-run traffic accident. A Los Angeles judge reinstated it in August after Brown agreed to complete an additional 1,000 hours of community service.

Since the 2009 sentence, Brown has been involved in altercations with rapper Drake and his entourage in a New York nightclub and R&B singer Frank Ocean in a Los Angeles parking lot. (Reporting by Tom Ramstack and Ian Simpson; Editing by Ian Simpson and Leslie Adler)