By Gil Kaufman with Jayson Rodriguez
Now that Chris Brown has entered a not-guilty plea to felony charges of assault and making criminal threats, what's next for the 19-year-old singer?
Brown, who appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom on Monday to enter the plea in the case stemming from an alleged February 8 assault on girlfriend Rihanna, must now either face a trial in the case or cut a plea deal that would spare him from the maximum penalty in the case, four years and eight months in a federal prison.
Rihanna's attorney, Donald Etra, told reporters after the hearing on Monday that his client is hopeful that a plea deal can be worked out so that the case could be quickly resolved, according to a RReuters report. But he reiterated that if ordered to testify against Brown she would do so. Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, has not returned multiple calls from MTV News requesting comment on the case and he did not speak to reporters after Monday's hearing.
Judge Patricia Schnegg set an April 29 status hearing for Brown and his attorneys, at which time a preliminary hearing could be scheduled. The prosecutor in the case will present the state's evidence at the preliminary hearing and Brown's attorneys will have a chance to examine the evidence and make motions and cross-examine the witnesses. At the end of that hearing, the judge typically determines if there is sufficient evidence to move the case to trial.