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Chris Brown has just pled not guilty to two felonies — assault and making criminal threats. Girlfriend Rihanna was not in court, but TMZ is reporting that the singer would be pleased “if it [the case] were over quickly” — as in plea bargain.

Chris Brown to plead not guilty.

During the hearing, which started 35 minutes late, Brown, dressed in all black, was told to appear in court next on April 29 to set the date for a preliminary hearing.

Brown’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, and the prosecutor are in the throws of plea bargain negotiations and one source says a deal is “close.” Rihanna has made it clear — she does not want to go to court, although her lawyer says she will cooperate if ordered to do so.

Watch Chris enter his plea below:

Folks in Rihanna’s camp were surprised when Chris Brown pled not guilty to the two felony counts he faced. “We really thought that a deal was on the horizon,” a source close to Rihanna said. “It would have made all of this end more quickly, and allowed everyone to get on with their lives.”

If convicted, Brown could be sentenced to probation or nearly five years in prison.

Rihanna spotted in Barbados.

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