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Rapper A$AP Rocky Will Face Trial For Allegedly Firing Gun At Childhood Friend

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A judge in Los Angeles determined Monday there is enough evidence to send rapper A$AP Rocky to trial on two counts of assault with a firearm, after prosecutors alleged the rapper shot at a childhood friend in 2021.

Key Facts

After about a day and a half of testimony, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar said “the totality of the video and testimony” show there is enough evidence for Rocky, whose given name is Rakin Mayers, to face the charges and go to trial, according to the Associated Press and the BBC.

Rocky was arrested in connection to a shooting on Nov. 6, 2021—the Los Angeles Police Department said he was part of an argument that ended in him firing a gun at former friend Terell Ephron, who sustained minor injuries.

In the preliminary hearing, Joe Tacopina, Rocky’s lawyer, tried to raise doubt around whether the gun was real and how serious Ephron’s hand injury was, suggesting the alleged gun “was never recovered” and “was not tested,” the AP reported.

Rocky will be arraigned on Jan. 8, according to Legal Affairs and Trials reporter Meghann Cuniff.

Crucial Quote

Tacopina said outside of the courtroom Monday that they weren’t disappointed or surprised, according to the AP. “We expected to go to trial, we’ve been planning for trial all along,” Tacopina said, adding: “Rocky is going to be vindicated when all this is said and done, without question.”

Key Background

Rocky was first arrested for the shooting in April 2022 at Los Angeles International Airport. He was returning from a trip to Barbados with his girlfriend, Rihanna, when he was detained by the LAPD. Rocky had previously been arrested in 2019 in Sweden after he got into a fight and was jailed for assault. He was eventually found guilty but didn’t face more time in jail after being held in a Swedish detention center for more than a month, according to the New York Times. During that legal battle, Rocky got support from then-President Donald Trump, with whom Rocky shares a lawyer, Tacopina: Trump tweeted “It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!” In recent years, Rocky has become more known for his fashion endeavors than his music career—though he’s a two-time Grammy nominee. Rocky has served as Puma’s creative director in its partnership with Formula One and he had a collaboration collection with Guess in 2016.

Further Reading

MORE FROM FORBESRapper A$AP Rocky Arrested In Connection To 2021 ShootingAP NewsA$AP Rocky appears in court where he will will soon learn if he's going to trial in shooting caseNytimesASAP Rocky Guilty of Assault in Sweden but Won't Face Prison Time (Published 2019)
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