Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Perp, 17, returns a changed woman

A teenage assault suspect showed up in a Brooklyn courtroom yesterday looking demure but glamorous weeks after a judge yanked a sweetheart plea deal because of the girl's bad attitude and trampy attire. The extreme makeover for 17-year-old Chazmia Morrison impressed Justice Patricia DiMango, who had ripped into her at her last appearance for wearing torn jeans and an off-the-shoulder top that revealed her bra straps and tattoos. "You look quite the lady," DiMango told Morrison, who went from perp walk to catwalk, turning up in black trousers and a pleated white blouse, topped by a black zip-up sweater."Thank you," replied Morrison, whose beast-to-beauty transformation included a deportment shift that would have made Henry Higgins proud. Morrison's star turn in the Brooklyn Supreme Court edition of "Extreme Makeover" came, she explained, after "I thought about it [and] learned my lesson." She was charged with assault for participating in an April 1 attack on a girl to prevent her from singing in a talent show -- and attempted to plead guilty in exchange for five years' probation and youthful-offender status, which would clear her record if she keeps her nose clean. But at her first appearance, Morrison admitted she had smoked pot before coming to court; and, at the second, she committed her fashion crime and refused to admit her role in the assault. DiMango allowed the penitent Morrison to plead guilty to attempted felony assault -- after adding a couple of conditions, including taking part in a drug-treatment program and getting a summer job. Morrison added one piece of fashion advice: "I want you dressing appropriately when you go to your job." - WILLIAM J. GORTA