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Detectives search Bieber home in egg-tossing case

by The Associated Press on January 15, 2014 10:59 AM

CALABASAS, Calif. — Detectives searched Justin Bieber’s home looking for surveillance footage that might serve as evidence the pop star was involved in an egg-tossing vandalism case that caused thousands of dollars in damage to a neighbor’s home, an official said Tuesday.

Roughly a dozen investigators searched Bieber’s home and arrested one member of the singer’s entourage on suspicion of drug possession, Lt. David Thompson said.

The drug, which was initially described as cocaine but was later being tested to determine its contents, was in plain sight when detectives searched Bieber’s house, Thompson said.

The arrested man was later identified as Lil Za, a rapper whose real name is Xavier Smith.

After being taken to jail, Smith had felony vandalism added to his potential charges and had his bail increased from $20,000 to $70,000 when he damaged a phone on the wall as he was awaiting a bail bondsman, said Lt. Michael Williams of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station.

Smith was released on bail at about 8:15 p.m., Williams said.

Phone listings for Smith, his representative or relatives could not be found, and sheriff’s officials did not know if he had hired an attorney.

Bieber, 19, was at the home and cooperated with authorities but was not interviewed by detectives. Thompson said he expected the singer to speak with detectives when his attorney could be present.

“He has not been arrested, nor has he been exonerated,” Thompson said of Bieber.

Thompson declined to describe what evidence detectives took from Bieber’s home, but said the emphasis wasn’t on what was in the pop star’s refrigerator.

He said the house Bieber allegedly egged had custom wood and other expensive features and that several thousands of dollars in damage occurred. Thompson added that a judge authorized the search warrant.

“I get that the eggs don’t seem that significant, but it does rise to the level of a felony,” Thompson said. “There is a victim in this case who has extensive damage done to their home. And that’s a serious incident.”

The singer lives in a gated community in Calabasas, a celebrity enclave about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Four helicopters hovered over the neighborhood hours after the warrant was served.

An email message sent to Bieber’s publicist, Melissa Victor, was not immediately returned.

Previous investigations into Bieber’s conduct by the sheriff’s department have not resulted in charges.

In October, prosecutors declined to charge Bieber after a neighbor complained he drove recklessly through the area. Prosecutors in November 2012 also declined to charge the singer after a paparazzo accused him of punching and hitting him after leaving a Calabasas movie theater.

o o o

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. — Music legend Chuck Berry, 87, says he has no plans to retire.

The rock ’n’ roll legend will make his 200th performance today at a Missouri night club where he’s been performing for nearly two decades. He says he hopes to make it another 200 shows.

Berry’s hit songs include “Johnny B. Goode,” “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Sweet Little Sixteen.” The St. Louis native has been performing at the Blueberry Hill night club in University City since 1996.

Berry said in October 2012 that his singing days had passed.

But he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that performing is in his genes.

He says he’s thankful for each day, has no plans to retire and will keep going “for as long as the big man upstairs allows.”

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NEW YORK — Ashlee Simpson is ready to give marriage another try.

The actress and singer is engaged to boyfriend Evan Ross, who is the son of Diana Ross.

The pair announced the news Monday on Twitter and it was confirmed by Simpson’s publicist, Janet Ringwood.

Simpson, 29, and Ross, 25, went public as a couple last summer.

Simpson was previously married to Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz. They have a 5-year-old son, Bronx.

Evan Ross is an actor who will appear in the final two film installments of “The Hunger Games.”

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