Despite his lawyer saying there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prosecute, a Los Angeles judge has ordered A$AP Rocky to stand trial for allegedly shooting at a former friend two years ago in Hollywood.
The rapper, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, is charged with two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
Rocky previously pleaded not guilty.
At a hearing on Monday, Nov. 20, his attorney questioned the evidence and the police investigation. But Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar ruled the case can move forward, CBS News reported.
A$AP Rocky, 35, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in April 2022, as he arrived on a private plane from Barbados with girlfriend Rihanna — who was pregnant at the time. The pair now have two young children.
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The LAPD released a statement last year saying the rapper was suspected of assault with a deadly weapon after a heated argument in Hollywood on Nov. 6, 2021.
“The argument escalated and resulted in the suspect firing a handgun at the victim,” police said following the hip-hop star’s arrest. “The victim sustained a minor injury from the incident and later sought his medical treatment.”
Rocky was released on $500,000 bond. The victim was later identified as fellow performer Terell Ephron, whose stage name is A$AP Relli.
Ephron told the court he and A$AP Rocky had been friends since childhood. Ephron said a disagreement between the two men escalated in 2021, and he alleged Rocky pulled a gun and opened fire, with a bullet grazing Ephron’s left hand.
Following the shooting, the suspect and two additional males fled the area on foot, the LAPD said. Detectives from the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division “worked diligently” to identify the people involved, police said.
Rocky is also facing a civil lawsuit that Ephron filed in August 2022, alleging assault, battery and emotional distress.
A$AP Rocky is no stranger to legal skirmishes. In 2019, he was convicted in Sweden for his role in a street brawl.
Swedish authorities accused the rapper and his associates of kicking and beating an Afghan refugee with a glass bottle while he lay on the ground.
A$AP Rocky testified that the man and an associate instigated a fight with the hip-hop star’s bodyguard. The rapper said he acted in self-defense after being accosted by “drug addicts.”
The case caused tensions between the U.S. and Sweden, and the Trump administration got involved. U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, Robert O’Brien, attended the rapper’s three-day trial to “support the members of the family and the American citizens.”
Rocky and his associates spent nearly a month in jail before they were released. The rapper was in Sweden for a music festival.