A$AP Rocky must stand trial on charges of firing gun at former friend
A$AP Rocky will stand trial over charges that he fired a gun at his former friend and collaborator in 2021, a US judge has ruled.
The decision was reached Monday (November 20) during the second day of a preliminary hearing which Rocky, real name Rakim Mayers, attended.
Prosecutors say that Rocky pointed and fired a handgun at Terell Ephron on the street near the W Hotel Hollywood in November 2021, after being “lured” there to discuss a disagreement.
Ephron, who was part of A$AP Mob under the stage name A$AP Relli alongside A$AP Rocky, also alleges separately that he is the victim of assault and battery, negligence and emotional distress, according to BBC.
The rapper has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. He could face up to nine years in prison if found guilty.
Reports emerged in April of last year that Rocky had been arrested in connection with the alleged shooting.
The Harlem rapper arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on a private plane from Barbados after visiting his girlfriend Rihanna – with whom he shares two sons – when he was detained by law enforcement officials.
Superior court judge ML Villar said “the totality of the video and testimony” shows there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial, per The Guardian.
“We’re not disappointed, not surprised, we expected to go to trial, we’ve been planning for trial all along,” A$AP Rocky’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, said outside court. “Rocky is going to be vindicated when all this is said and done, without question.”
Tacopina is also representing Donald Trump in his New York civil fraud trial.
CCTV footage of the alleged assault that was played in court shows Rocky firing a gun, according to the testimony of a Los Angeles detective earlier this month. A$AP Rocky’s lawyers deny that it’s their client who can be seen in the video.
According to court papers, Ephron was “struck by bullet projectile/fragments” in his left hand and is seeking at least $25,000 (£20,000) in damages.
Three years ago, Rocky was detained in Stockholm on suspicion that he and his entourage had assaulted a man. He was later released before being found guilty of assault and handed a suspended sentence and ordered to pay damages.
Last month Rocky faced a defamation lawsuit by A$AP Relli, which alleged that Rocky and Tacopina launched a media campaign to “impugn and malign” his character.