Justin Bieber and his legal team have not been offered a plea deal in an egging vandalism case, contrary to reports claiming plea deal discussions were underway.
Both E! News and Rumor Fix report the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said, “no decision has been made.”
Meanwhile, Lt. David Thompson — who led the Sheriff’s Department investigation — isn’t named in Radar Online’s report, but is presumably one of the detectives who is “absolutely furious” that Bieber may be charged with misdemeanor vandalism which the outlet claims the D.A. intends.
However, speaking on record to E! News Thompson maintained the D.A. has “not given any indication on their decisions” and said no plea deal has been discussed to his knowledge.
The detective also reiterated that his department “presented the case as a felony and still believes it’s a felony crime,” adding:
“The LASD isn’t pushing for jail time… [but] they believe the case rises to a felony for several reasons including it being a targeted attack.”
“By charging him with a felony,it would force Justin to appear in court and take responsibility for his behavior. He would be put on felony probation, where his behavior can be controlled.”
“If Justin is charged as a misdemeanor he would have to pay restitution and never appear in court.”
To recap, Bieber’s longtime estranged neighbor, Jeffrey Schwartz, alleged he and his 13-year-old daughter witnessed Bieber throwing eggs at their front door on January 9, allegedly causing $20,000 in damages. A home video later posted by TMZ purportedly revealed audio of Schwartz and an unseen male — allegedly Justin — trading F-bombs during the egging.
Los Angeles detectives seized Bieber’s home surveillance system, iPhone, and live-in buddy Xavier ‘Lil Za’ Smith for an unrelated drugs find at the singer’s Calabasas mansion five days later, but there has always been vagueness about what investigators found that could tie the singer to the egging.
In February, Radar reported Bieber was likely to be charged with misdemeanor vandalism.
A source close to the case told the website:
“There just isn’t enough compelling evidence to file a felony vandalism charge against Justin, period. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department [&] Lost Hills Station has been extremely over-zealous in their investigation involving Justin.”
The insider added,
“Sending over a dozen squad cars to execute a search warrant at his house, issuing press releases when the investigation is handed over to the DA filing, it’s just not done to the average guy.”
“The DA’s office will review the file, and determine what charges if any will be filed against Justin ….it’s looking like it will be a misdemeanor vandalism charge. The estimate for repair of $20,000 to the neighbor’s house are just overblown, period. Yes there was some minor damage, but nowhere near that amount.”
Fast forward to this week.
CNN reported while “there is little doubt Bieber will be charged with vandalism,” his lawyers Howard Weitzman and Shawn Holley met up with prosecutors Tuesday to try and persuade them not to charge the singer with a felony.
If a plea deal is hammered out before a charge lands, Troy Slaten (who is not connected to the case) told E! News this would be a best case scenario for Bieber but only if probation isn’t part of the deal.
“Being on even informal probation could be dangerous for Justin,” says Slaten. “The DA may be setting him up for failure. One condition of probation is that you obey all laws. That means anywhere in the world. And he doesn’t even have to be convicted of anything to be found in violation.”
“If the judge finds that it’s more likely than not that Justin has broken any law (other than a minor traffic offense) after being placed on probation, then Justin could be re-sentenced on the vandalism case up to the maximum of one year in jail.”
To Slaten, lawyers for Bieber should aim for a “non-probationary deal with the DA. Known as a terminal disposition, it would probably involve a few days in jail or house arrest. The sheriff would keep him safe and Justin would get that street cred he seems to be seeking.”
As previously reported, a plea deal would also involve Bieber pleading no contest to felony or misdemeanor vandalism and payment of restitution to the neighbor.
Following a move out of Calabsas and later sale of his mansion to Khloe Kardashian, the 20-year-old has decamped to Canada.
Everyone is asking me why am I in the studio if I’m on a break. Because music is what I love to do. This isn’t work. This is what I love.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) March 19, 2014
[Image via Instagram]