Chris Brown's Defense Begins to Unfold
05/07/2009 AT 08:00 AM EDT
The singer's lawyer, Mark Geragos, filed a request in a Los Angeles court Wednesday seeking access to LAPD records, arguing that Rihanna's injury photo – widely distributed on the Web – was "illegally leaked to the media" by police and may result in a case dismissal, RadarOnline reports.
"I am informed and believe that this highly prejudicial photograph was sold by an LAPD officer to the entertainment website, TMZ," Geragos states. "The photograph was immediately viewed by hundreds of thousands of viewers and was displayed on every news channel for several weeks ... The purpose of the leak was necessarily for profit and to vilify Mr. Brown and poison the potential jury pool."
Geragos adds that if LAPD records show "dishonest conduct" by its officers, "I intend to use such evidence at the preliminary hearing to attack their credibility ... I believe there is a reasonable likelihood that the case will be dismissed at the preliminary hearing."
Will Geragos's gambit work? A judge will decide. But, says L.A. criminal defense attorney Jeffery Rubenstein, who's not involved in the case: "It's unlikely the judge will dismiss the case on the grounds of leaked evidence. It's not police conduct at issue here, it's Chris Brown's."
Brown, 20, has pleaded not guilty to allegedly beating Rihanna on Feb. 8.
A preliminary hearing, in which the court determines if there's enough evidence for trial, is to begin within eight court days of May 28. But the case could potentially end with a plea bargain at any time.