Former Browns Great Surrenders, Begins Serving Jail Sentence

By SANDY YANG, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Former Cleveland Browns star Jim Brown surrendered Wednesday to begin serving a six-month jail sentence because he refused court-ordered counseling and community service after being convicted of vandalizing his wife's car.

Brown, wearing denim and a green hat, arrived arm in arm with his wife, Monique Brown (pictured with Brown, above).

The former running back was sentenced for misdemeanor vandalism on Jan. 5, 2000. Jurors acquitted him of making a terrorist threat against his wife during a June 15, 1999, argument at the couple's Hollywood Hills home.

Brown did not speak when he surrendered. He said earlier he would serve the jail sentence with "dignity and pride" even though he believed he was being singled out for prosecution.

Milton Grimes, Brown's attorney, said Wednesday: "I believe that the court abused their discretion. The incarceration of Mr. Brown is vindictive."

Municipal Court Judge Dale S. Fischer initially sentenced Brown to a year of domestic violence counseling. She also ordered the Hall of Former to spend 40 days on a work crew cleaning up streets or to put in 400 hours of community service, pay $1,800 in fines and serve three years on probation.

When Brown refused to go to counseling, the judge imposed the jail term, although she ordered it stayed pending appeal.

"You cannot take my dignity. You cannot take my manhood," Brown said after he was sentenced to jail. "Fifteen years, 20 years, 27 years Nelson Mandela spent to fight apartheid in South Africa. Only that man did it."

Brown tried to have Fischer disqualified for bias, but the motion was denied.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)