We first reported that Russell Brand was taken in on two misdemeanor charges in connection with an incident in which Brand threw a paparazzo’s iPhone through a window.
TMZ is now reporting Brand has been charged with a felony. In Louisiana, damage to property in excess of $500 dollars is considered a felony. Police are saying the damage caused by Brand totalled $700.
Prosecutors must decide to go forward with felony charges or bump them down to a misdemeanor. In the meantime, Brand has hired high profile New Orleans lawyer Robert Glass in defense.
According to sources at TMZ, Brand will claim he was provoked by the paparazzi. He will also claim that the damages were not $700, since he paid $240 to fix the window, and damage to the iPhone was minor.
If guilty, the felony charge carries a penalty of a maximum of 2 years in prison. Brand was released last Thursday on $5,000 bond.
Brand, famously, had this to say about the incident:
Since Steve Jobs died I cannot bear to see anyone use an iphone irreverently, what I did was a tribute to his memory.