Los Angeles Police Department is taking seriously an allegation by pop star Rihanna that her boyfriend, Chris Brown, threatened to kill her during their violent altercation early Sunday.
We are told by a source close to the investigation that police may suggest attempted murder charges against Brown when the case is handed over to the Los Angeles District Attorney's office. As previously reported, the LAPD presented their case against Brown to the DA, but a spokeswoman said county prosecutors are asking detectives to investigate further.
What more do investigators need after reportedly securing eyewitness accounts, a victim statement, photos of the injuries and prints on the impounded Lamborghini that prove who was driving?
"In my opinion, either [the cops] have conflicting stories and not enough evidence, or the DA is debating whether to file this as misdemeanor or felony battery," defense attorney Steve Cron explained to the New York Daily News. "If you have a scratch or a bruise, that's more in the realm of misdemeanor. If you have a cut that requires stitches, bruising showing multiple blows, a broken bone or a chipped tooth, that's more felony."
Another legal expert for the Daily News said prosecutors generally ask for an overabundance of "witness work" in cases like this because victims often lose their nerve when it comes to trial.
"These cases are often stymied by the refusal of victims to testify," said attorney Alexandra Leichter, a Beverly Hills-based private arbitrator. "If witnesses saw the victim before the attack, witnesses heard the screams and then cops came and she was bloodied, then the circumstantial evidence could be enough to convict."
In other Chris Brown news ... one day after Wrigley decided to suspend its ad campaign with the singer, the folks at "Got Milk" have gone the extra step and cancelled his ads for the campaign.
"(We are) taking the allegations against Chris Brown very seriously," read a statement from the Dairy Council. "We are very proud and protective of the image of the Milk Mustache campaign and the responsible message it sends to teens. Mr. Brown's ad ... is scheduled to end this week."
Brown turned himself in to Los Angeles police on Sunday night. He was released from custody after posting $50,000 bail and will face charges in court on March 5.