WASHINGTON (Reuters) - R&B singer Chris Brown’s trial for allegedly assaulting a fan outside a hotel in Washington, D.C., was delayed again on Wednesday after his defense said more time was needed to arrange for the testimony of his bodyguard.
Brown, 24, is accused of punching a man who was trying to take his photo near the White House in October. Christopher Hollosy, the singer’s 35-year-old bodyguard, was convicted on Monday of misdemeanor assault for hitting the man during the altercation.
Brown’s attorneys say Hollosy is a key witness who should appear at the trial in the District of Columbia Superior Court, but the bodyguard has refused to speak under oath until his appeal is completed.
Prosecutors said Brown punched Parker Adams, 20, in the face after he first tried to crowd into a photo the singer was taking with two women, then tried to take a picture on his cell phone without Brown’s permission.
Hollosy faces up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines, as does Brown if convicted of the misdemeanor charge.
Hollosy had planned to testify for Brown but decided after his conviction that he only would do so if granted immunity from prosecution. Prosecutors said on Wednesday they would not grant him immunity.
Hollosy’s attorneys say he risks jeopardizing his appeal if he makes potentially incriminating statements during testimony.
Hollosy has admitted he struck Adams, who suffered a broken nose, but said he was trying to protect Brown.
Defense attorney Mark Geragos told the court on Wednesday that Hollosy’s testimony was important for Brown’s case.
“I need him, obviously,” Geragos said.
The next hearing in Brown’s case is scheduled for June 25, the same day Hollosy is due to be sentenced.
Brown’s trial was originally scheduled to begin last week but was delayed when the judge in Hollosy’s case waited until Monday to announce the bodyguard’s conviction.
A conviction for Brown could amount to a violation of his probation for a 2009 assault on his then-girlfriend, pop singer Rihanna, in Los Angeles, possibly leading to an additional four years in prison.
A California judge ordered Brown jailed last month after he allegedly threatened to use guns while he was in an anger management rehabilitation center. The judge set April 23 as his release date.
Brown was transferred to a jail in Virginia and escorted by U.S. marshals to his court appearance on Wednesday.
Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Paul Simao