Chris Brown Pleads Not Guilty to Battery Charge From 2017 Nightclub Incident

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Brown was arrested in Tampa last week on an outstanding warrant tied to his alleged attack on a club photographer.

Following his surprise arrest after a show last week in Tampa, Florida, Chris Brown entered a not guilty plea on a felony battery charge in Hillsborough County, Florida, on Monday. Attorney Kevin Napper confirmed to Billboard on Thursday (July 12) that Brown was not present at the hearing and was represented by counsel (Napper), who entered the plea on the singer's behalf.

Napper requested that the judge in the case set a pretrial conference date and waived Brown's right to be present at his arraignment. Brown posted $2,000 bond and was released from Palm Beach County Jail on July 5 after being picked up on an outstanding warrant that accuses him hitting Bennie Vines Jr., who was hired by a club in Tampa to take pictures during an event hosted by Brown in April 2017.

Vines told ficers that Brown punched him while he was snapping photos. Brown was gone by the time ficers arrived that night, and Vines refused medical treatment, but he told the ficers he wanted to prosecute over a minor lip cut. A bulletin was issued a short time later alerting Florida law enforcement ficers to pick Brown up on the outstanding warrant in the case.

Brown is in the middle his Heartbreak on a Full Moon Tour and is scheduled to perform in Bristow, Virginia, on Thursday night.

Brown has been in repeated legal trouble since pleading guilty to the felony assault his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, ahead the 2009 Grammys. He completed his probation in that case in 2015.

In 2013, Brown was charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly striking a man outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. He was ordered into rehab but was dismissed from the facility for violating its rules. Brown spent 2.5 months in custody, with U.S. marshals shuttling him between Los Angeles and the nation’s capital for court hearings. After he completed court-ordered anger management classes, Brown was accused throwing a brick at his mother’s car following a counseling session.