No charges against Brown in Florida over phone flap
Chris Brown arrives at the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
The Associated Press
Published Friday, November 30, 2012 3:35PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 30, 2012 7:32PM EST
MIAMI -- Grammy-winning singer Chris Brown will not face criminal charges for snatching a woman's cellphone when she tried to snap a photo of him outside a Miami Beach club, prosecutors said Friday.
A memo released Friday by Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle concludes there is no evidence that Brown intended to steal the phone in February or that he deleted any photos. One or the other is necessary for him to be charged with robbery or theft.
Prosecutors said that Brown tossed the phone from his limo and that it was picked up by Devon Blanche, head of security for rapper Tyga, who had performed with Brown at the Cameo club that night. According to the memo, Blanche tried to find out if someone had lost the phone, ultimately took it with him to Atlanta during the rapper's tour and said he intended to find its owner.
A felony charge against Brown, 24, might have triggered a violation of his probation for his 2009 assault on singer Rihanna, who was his girlfriend at the time. The two have recently collaborated on a new duet, "Nobody's Business," and have been spotted out together in recent weeks.
Rundle said the investigation's findings would be forwarded to probation officials in Los Angeles for review.
"We are grateful for the decision and the thorough investigation," Brown's attorney Mark Geragos said in an email.
According to the memo, after Brown and Tyga -- real name Michael Stevenson -- finished their performances, both got into separate limos to head for their hotels. Witnesses told prosecutors about 30 female fans gathered outside Brown's vehicle, at least one of whom reached inside to take a photo. Brown was accompanied by at least two women in the limo.
Stevenson told prosecutors that he saw Brown throw a white cellphone out of the limo. The phone's owner, Christal Spann, said Brown used a derogatory term for women and said "this will not run the website" when he grabbed the phone. Spann began beating on the limo's windows, according to the memo, until someone in a front seat told her the phone had been tossed out. She could not find it, however.
"She used to be a fan of Brown's, but no longer," the memo notes of Spann.
Blanche, the security man, told investigators he thought Brown was upset because "if photographs of himself with two females got out, it might cause him problems with Rihanna."