Grammy-winning singer Chris Brown is in the clear as prosecutors have decided not to file charges against him for allegedly snatching a woman’s cellphone in early February.
The phone’s owner, Christal Spann, was trying to take a photo of Brown outside a Miami Beach night club.
A memo released Friday afternoon concluded that no evidence existed to prove that Brown intended to steal the phone or that he deleted any photos.
To be charged with “robbery by sudden snatching” or “grand theft,” Brown must have had the requisite or specific criminal intent to ‘permanently deprive’ Spann of her property.”
Prosecutors concluded that Chris Brown did not have the intent to steal Christal Spann’s cellphone.
“The Miami Beach Police Department and my prosecutors have reviewed all of the evidence and taken the statements of numerous witnesses, many of whom were interviewed in California, and have determined we are not taking any type of criminal action regarding the incident,” concluded Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle in a 10-page prepared memo.
In the memo, prosecutors stated that Brown tossed Spann’s phone from his limousine and that it was picked up by Devon Blanche, head of security for rapper Tyga.
Tyga and Brown had performed at the Cameo club earlier that night. Blanche tried to determine whether someone had lost the phone and ultimately took it to Atlanta during the rapper’s tour indicating in an interview that he intended to find its owner.
Criminal charges against Brown, 24, might have triggered a violation of his probation for his 2009 assault on his then girlfriend Rihanna. The two have recently collaborated on a new duet, “Nobody’s Business,” and have been spotted out together in recent weeks.
According to the memo, after Brown and Tyga had finished their performances, they departed for their hotel in separate limousines.
Witnesses told prosecutors that 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 limousines.
Tyga told prosecutors that he saw Brown throw a white cellphone out of the limousine.
Christal Spann stated that Brown used a derogatory term for women and said “this will not run the website” when he grabbed the phone. She began beating on the windows, according to the memo, until someone in the 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.
“The prosecution must prove that Chris Brown had the requisite or specific criminal intent to ‘permanently deprive’ Spann of her property,” stated John Contini, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney and author of “Danger Road,” the true story of three drug dealers who in 1983 were brutally murdered by a police officer in the Florida Everglades. “This was quite challenging and I applaud the Miami-Dade State Attorney in conducting a thorough investigation of the case.”
Rundle stated that the investigation’s findings would be sent to probation officials in Los Angeles for review.
Bill Lewis is the principal of William E. Lewis Jr. & Associates and host of “The Credit Report with Bill Lewis” — a daily forum for business and financial news, politics, economic trends and issues on AM 740 WSBR in south Florida.