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Hawaii-born Bruno Mars has Las Vegas cocaine charge dismissed

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 07:47 a.m. HST, Jan 18, 2012

LAS VEGAS >> Pop star Bruno Mars was cleared of a felony cocaine possession case in Las Vegas on Wednesday, after his attorneys told a state court judge the Grammy-winning pop star stayed out of trouble, performed community service and met other conditions of a plea deal reached almost a year ago.

Mars, whose real name is Peter Gene Hernandez, didn’t appear in person for the brief hearing at which Clark County District Court Judge Jessie Walsh dismissed the case.

The 26-year-old singer-songwriter of hits including “Just The Way You Are,” “It Will Rain” and “Grenade” pleaded guilty Feb. 16 to cocaine possession, but the judge postponed accepting the plea.

Mars didn’t get formal probation, but the judge fined him $2,000 and ordered him to perform 200 hours of community service and eight hours of drug counseling.

Mars acknowledged having 2.6 grams of cocaine when he was arrested in a bathroom in September 2010 after a nightclub performance at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

He could have faced up to four years in state prison, but attorney Blair Berk said Mars met the court requirements and logged more than the required 200 hours of community service.

“Bruno earned the dismissal,” the lawyer told reporters after the hearing. “He exceeded the expectations of the court.”

Berk has said the singer appreciated the chance he got as a first-time offender to have the felony charge dismissed. She said Mars’ community service was in Los Angeles and Minneapolis on efforts including charity videos and concerts, an anti-bullying campaign and work with children’s charities and health organizations.

The former child entertainer from Hawaii began his career at age 4 as an Elvis impersonator. He moved to Los Angeles in 2002.

He won best male pop vocal performer at the Grammys last year, and is nominated for six awards and is due to perform at the upcoming awards show Feb. 12 in Los Angeles.

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soundofreason wrote:
Ain't gonna happen. Las Vegas has REAL justice/judges....elected by the people.
on January 18,2012 | 05:42AM
kainalu wrote:
A 20-something "star" has drug charges dismissed, and this is headline news? Come on, SA!
on January 18,2012 | 06:41AM
Vivgie wrote:
Getting caught was probably the best thing that ever happened to you. Now you get a second chance. Try stop drinking, too. Take a new hobby like exercise and meditation like Tina Turner. You're such a talented genius, and Hawaii is in awe of you. Always be grateful and mindful of the rare talent you have and seek and discover new talents you didn't know you had all along. You da best! You just didn't know it.
on January 18,2012 | 07:12AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
I hope he doesn't blow it.
on January 18,2012 | 08:13AM
jankenpo wrote:
Such a talented person. I'm happy for him. Stay clean.
on January 18,2012 | 08:38AM
Bully wrote:
Today I am not doing anything, I just want to lay in my bed.
on January 18,2012 | 11:56AM
livinginhawaii wrote:
Kind of sets a bad example to the keiki - get your record wiped clean if you get caught on the first round...
on January 18,2012 | 12:10PM
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