Chris Brown Set for Afternoon Arraignment—Will He Cop a Plea?

    Chris Brown, Rihanna

    The day has finally come for Chris Brown to face the music. And the judge.

    Nearly two months after the 19-year-old was booked on suspicion of assault over a bloody altercation with on-off girlfriend Rihanna, he's due to return to court this afternoon, ostensibly to enter a plea on two felony counts: assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats.

    Brown and attorney Mark Geragos initially turned up at the singer's scheduled arraignment last month, but the celebrity attorney earned his paycheck by successfully requesting a monthlong postponement in the case, in hopes of working out a jail-avoiding deal.

    Should a deal not be reached by court time, Brown is expected to enter a plea of not guilty for each charge.

    Today's hearing was pushed back from the morning to the afternoon amid last-minute negotiations between the plea-hungry defense and the charge-seeking prosecution. It's unclear what the status of the talks are, but a closed-doors hearing expected to take place last month was canceled without explanation.

    Whatever the outcome, the courtroom will be noticeably absent one supportive superstar during the proceedings: Rihanna.

    Last week, a rep for the district attorney's office told E! News that the 21-year-old, who has been racking up the frequent-flier miles during her break from Brown, has been "a cooperating victim," and has assisted the prosecution throughout their case.

    Today, however, she will be far from the courtroom and surrounding media circus. After brief sojourns to Hawaii and New York last week, the R&B star is back on her home turf, having arrived in her native Barbados several days ago.

    Far from laying low, the singer has been spotted embracing the local party scene, attending a party for her grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary and even appearing out in public with Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson.

    (Originally published April 6, 2009, at 7:31 a.m. PT)