DALLAS - The young homeless man who accompanied Miley Cyrus to the MTV Video Music Awards arrived 45 minutes late for his arraignment Tuesday on a charge that he violated his probation in Oregon.
Polk County Judge Monte Campbell was ready to wrap up his court hearings for the day, and likely issue an arrest warrant for Jesse Helt, when Helt's lawyer announced his client had arrived at the courthouse.
Helt, 22, didn't enter a plea, and he's due back in court next month. He declined to speak with a reporter after the hearing.
Helt gained worldwide attention last month when Cyrus let him accept her award for video of the year, to help raise awareness for homelessness. It was later learned that Helt was wanted in Oregon for a probation violation stemming from a 2010 arrest.
Helt's mother, Linda, has said the singer offered to help cover her son's legal costs.
When Campbell initially called for Helt, attorney Ron Hoevet said his client was homeless and having trouble arranging transportation to the courthouse.
Hoevet left the courtroom and called Helt.
"You'd better get here," Hoevet said on the phone, warning Helt that he'd be arrested if he didn't show.
After listening to his client's end of the conversation, Hoevet said: "You've messed up again, Jesse."
He informed Helt that the judge agreed to move the case to the end of the day, so he still had time to make it.
"If you get here, it's going to be OK."
Twenty minutes later, Helt phoned Hoevet, who boomed: "Where are you, Jesse?" as he left the courtroom to talk.
Finally, when all the other cases were done, the judge returned to the Helt case for a third time. Hoevet announced he received a text message that his client was at the courthouse.
The hearing lasted only about a minute. Campbell reminded Helt that court started 45 minutes earlier and told him to "bring a toothbrush" if he's one second late for his Oct. 7 hearing.
Helt said he understood.
Court records show Helt pleaded guilty to misdemeanour criminal mischief and criminal trespass several years ago after breaking into the apartment of a man he believed to be selling bad marijuana. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation.
The arrest warrant was issued in November 2011 after authorities say he violated probation.
Helt moved to Los Angeles, enduring stints of homelessness while trying to find work as a model. He met Cyrus through the Hollywood homeless centre My Friend's Place.
Follow Steven DuBois at twitter.com/pdxdub