WASHINGTON — Singer Chris Brown’s trial on an assault charge was put on hold for months Wednesday after prosecutors declined to grant immunity to his bodyguard, who would be a key witness in the case.
Brown’s trial had been set to start Wednesday, and Brown’s bodyguard, Christopher Hollosy, had been expected to testify and say that he, not Brown, hit a man outside a Washington hotel in October. Hollosy was tried separately and convicted Monday of assault but plans to appeal. Hollosy’s lawyer has said that unless Hollosy is granted immunity, he will not testify until he is finished with his appeal.
A lawyer for Brown said in court Wednesday that the appeal process could take at least six months. Prosecutors have said it could take a year. No new trial date for Brown was set.
Prosecutors told a judge they decided not to grant Hollosy immunity because he refused to meet with them to discuss his testimony after his conviction. They also think his likely testimony, that he alone threw a punch, would be a lie.
Prosecutors say Brown and Hollosy hit 20-year-old Parker Adams after Adams tried to get into a photo Brown was taking with two women outside his tour bus. Witnesses testified at Hollosy’s trial that Adams and Brown exchanged words over the picture and Brown, then Hollosy, hit Adams.
Hollosy told police a different story. He said he hit Adams after Adams tried to get on Brown’s tour bus. Brown denied hitting Adams and made a similar statement to police.
On Wednesday, D.C. Superior Court Judge A. Franklin Burgess Jr. set a status hearing in Brown’s case for June 25, the same day Hollosy is scheduled to be sentenced. Both men are expected to attend that day.
“I think all of this is much ado about nothing, and frankly I look forward to being able to try this at some point,” Brown’s lawyer Mark Geragos said outside of court Wednesday.
Brown’s case in Washington is significant for the Grammy winner because if he is convicted he could face additional penalties, including jail time, as a result of an earlier case in California. At the time he was arrested in Washington, Brown was on probation in Los Angeles for beating singer Rihanna in 2009.