Chris Brown isn't ready to take a stand yet.
Clad in a gray suit and tie and looking humble before a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, the R&B star stood alongside lawyer Mark Geragos as the attorney requested a postponement of Brown's arraignment on felony charges for allegedly assaulting Rihanna on Feb. 8.
After watching Brown sign a waiver of presence, allowing his lawyer to act on his behalf instead, the judge agreed to postpone the proceedings until April 6.
"Mr. Brown, you are ordered not to annoy harass, molest, threaten or use force or violence against anyone," the judge instructed Brown.
But Rihanna's lawyer, Donald Etra, who referred to her as Ms. Fenty, said that she would not require an order barring Brown from having any contact with her.
"She's doing great, she's recovered nicely," Etra told E! News outside the courthouse, adding that Rihanna, "has a right to make an appearance and have her rights heard at all stages of the proceedings."
But Brown's fate is out of their hands, he added.
"What will happen to Chris Brown is up to the district attorney in court," Etra said.
"He won't be coming back," a member of Brown's entourage who declined to give his name told us when asked about the waiver Brown signed today. (Despite the waiver, under state law Brown will still be required to appear for any felony arraignment; but he can skip any procedural hearings.)
"It just went too far," the friend said of the situation.
The 19-year-old chart topper is facing a maximum sentence of 56 months in prison if convicted on both counts, leveled at him earlier today, of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats.
Police never formally identified Rihanna as the victim at the center of their domestic-violence investigation, but the sordid details of the case have been hard-pressed to remain under wraps from day one.
Law-enforcement sources had informed E! News that the district attorney's office, which just received the fruits of the LAPD's investigation yesterday, had been looking to make a felony case against Brown.
Meanwhile, we're told that Brown's lawyers have been working with prosecutors to arrive at a plea agreement that would keep their client out of jail. A source told E! today after court that Geragos' postponement reqeust was to allow time to continue the negotiations.
Family members and friends of Brown refused to talk to reporters as they entered the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center through a back door at about 3:40 p.m.
We don't know where Rihanna was throughout these proceedings, but sources told E! News that the 21-year-old songstress was on Brown's private flight from Miami to Burbank Airport earlier this week after the two reconnected at Sean "Diddy" Comb's Star Island mansion in Miami Beach.
(Originally published March 5, 2009 at 3:57 p.m. PT)
—Additional reporting by Whitney English and Ashley Fultz