By Sarah Hall
Whitney Houston may have hoped that love would save the day, but a judge has ruled that husband Bobby Brown will have to stand trial for allegedly roughing her up last December.
Brown and Houston smiled at each other during Wednesday’s five-minute hearing, during which Judge Barry Zimmerman decided that there was enough evidence to go forward with the case against Brown.
The legally challenged R&B singer was ordered to turn himself in for fingerprinting on July 10 or 11. He’ll then be released on $2,000 bond. No trial date was set.
Brown’s lawyer, Maurice Bennett, said the judge’s decision did not come as a surprise.
Simple battery offenders can face up to a year in prison in Georgia and pay a $1,000 fine. First-time domestic-violence offenses are usually dismissed if the defendant undergoes counseling.
After the judge warned him against any more “violent contact” with his wife, Brown left the courtroom arm in arm with Houston. Neither commented to the press waiting outside.
The charges against Brown stem from a Dec. 7 dispute with Houston that culminated in the “I Get So Emotional” singer picking up the phone and dialing the police.
Officers arrived to find Houston with a cut lip and bruised cheek. Though she stated she preferred to work out matters with her husband privately, Brown was arrested and charged with battery anyway.
The months since the domestic dispute have been action-packed for the Houston-Brown clan.
Ever the bad boy, Brown has had two separate stints in the slammer so far this year. He spent a month in a Georgia prison for multiple probation violations. He was released a few days early to attend a hearing on child support issues in Massachusetts, where he was locked up again for a night.
He was released after he came up with the $63,500 he owed the mother of two of his children in child support payments.
Meanwhile, Houston spirited herself off to rehab for a brief stay to deal with a substance abuse problem.
For those having trouble keeping up with the saga, take heart. Brown and Houston may be going the route of the Osbournes, the Newlyweds and Anna Nicole Smith –i.e., having their dramas captured on film.
Brown is reportedly at work on a proposed reality series featuring his life with Whitney, daughter Bobbi Kristina, 11, dog, Doggie and various entourage members.
The group was spotted being trailed by a camera crew on several occasions as they wined and dined their way through Atlanta.
No word on whether any networks have expressed interest in the project.
For now, Brown has his upcoming legal battles to focus on.
On Tuesday, Brown fired his previous attorney, Vincent Dimmock, whom he had not paid since hiring him in February.
Dimmock would not comment on how Brown owed him but said he wished the “Every Little Step” singer the best.