Singer Chris Brown turned over to federal marshals for D.C. trial

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[April 04, 2014]  LOS ANGELES (Reuters) R&B singer Chris Brown was taken from his Los Angeles jail cell by the U.S. Marshals Service and will be transported to Washington, D.C. for a hearing in a 2013 misdemeanor assault charge, federal authorities said on Thursday.

Brown, 24, was jailed last month after violating his probation when he was dismissed from a facility where he was receiving the court-ordered treatment related to his 2009 assault of his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna. He will be taken to Washington, where he is scheduled to stand trial on April 17, U.S. Marshals Service spokeswoman Lynzey Donahue said.

Brown's lawyer Mark Geragos had asked the court to have Brown released ahead of the trial into his custody so that they could prepare for the trial and travel together to Washington.

A court hearing on the matter was set for Thursday, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin canceled it and issued a written decision instead.

The judge said Brown's attorneys have been visiting him "on an almost daily basis" at the Men's Central Jail in Los Angeles to prepare for the D.C. trial, the City News service reported.

Brandlin issued an eight-page ruling on the matter, noting that while the transfer may cause "some inconvenience" to the singer and his legal team, Brown would not be deprived of his right to counsel if transported by federal authorities.

Brown faces a misdemeanor assault charge in Washington from an October 2013 incident where he was accused of allegedly punching a man who was trying to get a picture with him, breaking his nose.

The singer was sentenced by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Brandlin to 90 days in a treatment program following his altercation in Washington.

(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; editing by Mary Milliken and Andrew Hay)

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