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A$AP Rocky will soon learn if he’s going to trial for charges of shooting at former friend

by Joshua Brown
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Legal Battle

A crucial moment is approaching for A$AP Rocky as he awaits a verdict that could determine whether he will face trial for alleged charges related to a shooting incident involving a former friend. Scheduled for Monday, a Los Angeles judge is poised to evaluate the evidence against the 35-year-old rap artist, known for his music career and fatherhood to two children with Rihanna. At the heart of the matter are two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, to which Rocky has entered a plea of not guilty.

The prosecution’s case asserts that on November 6, 2021, outside the W. Hotel in Hollywood, Rocky pointed a handgun at Terell Ephron, subsequently engaging in a confrontation that resulted in shots being fired, grazing Ephron’s knuckles and inflicting minor injuries. During the initial day of the hearing earlier this month, Ephron, formerly known as A$AP Relli, testified about their close friendship during their teenage years, alongside other members of the A$AP collective, a group of high school students from New York who aspired to create music and explore various artistic endeavors.

Ephron revealed that their camaraderie persisted even after Rocky achieved stardom. However, tensions arose when he felt that Rocky had failed to fulfill promised business ventures and had neglected fellow members of their high school collective, who were facing challenging circumstances. The breaking point occurred with the incident in 2021 when shots were fired.

Prosecutors presented surveillance footage capturing part of the altercation, depicting Rocky allegedly brandishing a firearm and potentially discharging it, though Rocky’s legal team vehemently disputes this claim.

Rocky was apprehended at Los Angeles International Airport in April and subsequently charged in August. He attended the November 8 hearing, as is customary in felony cases, and is expected to be present in court on Monday. Rocky, a two-time Grammy nominee, initially gained fame through his first two studio albums in 2013 and 2015, both of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

In recent years, his music output has waned, and he has become better known as the romantic partner and co-parent of Rihanna, with whom he welcomed a second child in May. Additionally, Rocky garnered unexpected support from former President Donald Trump when he was detained following a 2019 altercation in Sweden. Trump’s efforts to secure Rocky’s release garnered significant attention, ultimately resulting in a guilty verdict for assault but no further jail time due to a “conditional sentence.”

Presently, Rocky is being represented in the Los Angeles case by Joe Tacopina, a lawyer known for his association with Trump and his involvement in the former president’s New York criminal case and other legal matters. Tacopina’s cross-examination of Ephron during the November 8 testimony was marked by contention, as he suggested that Ephron may be fabricating the incident for financial gain, given his simultaneous filing of a civil lawsuit.

In the California legal system, preliminary hearings such as this one serve as a condensed version of a trial, with a judge determining whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed. The burden of proof at this stage is considerably lower than what is required for a criminal conviction. Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar may render a decision regarding whether to proceed to trial as early as Monday, though the testimony and final ruling could potentially extend beyond that date.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about ASAP Rocky trial

What are the charges against A$AP Rocky?

A$AP Rocky faces two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm for allegedly firing a gun at a former friend outside a Hollywood hotel.

When did the alleged incident occur?

The incident in question took place on November 6, 2021, outside the W. Hotel in Hollywood.

What is A$AP Rocky’s plea in this case?

A$AP Rocky has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Who is the former friend involved in the incident?

The former friend involved in the incident is Terell Ephron, who was previously known as A$AP Relli.

What evidence has been presented in the case?

The prosecution has presented surveillance video footage that appears to show A$AP Rocky brandishing a gun and possibly firing it. However, Rocky’s defense team disputes this claim.

Who is representing A$AP Rocky in this legal case?

A$AP Rocky is being represented by Joe Tacopina, a lawyer known for his involvement in high-profile cases and his association with former President Donald Trump.

What is the potential outcome of the upcoming court hearing?

During the preliminary hearing, Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to a full trial. The judge’s ruling could come as early as Monday, though it may take longer depending on testimony and deliberation.

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