Bieber house guest Lil Za goes to court; charge reduced, but no plea deal yet

CNN/ Newswire | 3/26/2014, 12:57 p.m.
Justin Bieber house guest Lil Za appeared before a judge Wednesday but stopped short of accepting a plea deal to ...
Embargo: Los Angeles, CA The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department was executing a felony search warrant Tuesday morning, January 14, 2014, at the Calabasas, California, home of pop star Justin Bieber. The search warrant stems from Bieber's possible connection to a recent egg-throwing incident, a sheriff's department spokesman said.

By Alan Duke


LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Justin Bieber house guest Lil Za appeared before a judge Wednesday but stopped short of accepting a plea deal to settle drug and vandalism charges that stemmed from the January search of Bieber's mansion.

A prosecutor agreed to reduce a felony vandalism charge -- which was filed after the rapper allegedly pulled a jail phone off of a wall -- to a misdemeanor, but his lawyer asked for more time before entering a plea.

The case was reset for April 30.

Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators were looking for evidence that Bieber, 20, attacked a neighbor's home with eggs in January when they arrested Bieber's house guest for possession of suspected illegal drugs.

A felony vandalism charge was added after Lil Za -- whose real name is Xavier Smith -- allegedly pulled a phone out of the wall in a jail holding area while waiting to be bailed out.

Lab tests confirmed one of the drugs in the 20-year-old rapper's possession was MDMA, also known as Molly or Ecstasy, a sheriff's detective said.

The prosecutor acknowledged in court Wednesday that the phone damage did not meet the threshold for a felony vandalism charge.

Smith was represented in court by lawyer Shawn Holley, who is also Bieber's attorney.

The Los Angeles County district attorney has yet to decide if Bieber will be charged with vandalism for the egg attack. The prosecutor could decide to make it a felony case, since investigators said it caused an estimated $20,000 in damage to a Calabasas, California, mansion. It could also be prosecuted as just a misdemeanor because of the nature of the incident.

Sheriff's detectives asked for a felony charge against Bieber, but his lawyers argue that the egging was a childish prank.