A$AP Rocky Must Stand Trial On Charges He Fired Gun at Former Friend – Billboard


A Los Angeles choose dominated Monday that there’s sufficient proof for A$AP Rocky to face trial on fees that he fired a gun at a former good friend and collaborator outdoors a Hollywood resort in 2021.

Superior Court docket Decide M.L. Villar made the ruling at a preliminary listening to, after listening to roughly a day and a half of testimony. Rocky has pleaded not responsible to 2 felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

The 35-year-old hip-hop star, vogue mogul and two-time Grammy nominee is in a relationship with Rihanna, with whom he has two younger sons.

Villar mentioned “the totality of the video and testimony” reveals there may be enough proof for the defendant to go to trial. She emphasised that preliminary hearings have a a lot decrease proof customary than a trial.

Rocky, sitting within the courtroom, confirmed no seen response.

“We’re not disenchanted, not stunned, we anticipated to go to trial, we’ve been planning for trial all alongside,” Rocky’s legal professional, Joe Tacopina, mentioned outdoors courtroom. “Rocky goes to be vindicated when all that is mentioned and finished, with out query.”

On the first day of the listening to, which resumed Monday after a protracted delay, Terell Ephron testified that he and Rocky, a good friend since childhood, had belonged to the identical collective of musicians and artists at their New York highschool.

He mentioned their relationship had began to go bitter and resulted within the standoff in Hollywood on Nov. 6, 2021, when he mentioned Rocky first pulled a gun on him, and in a later confrontation fired photographs that grazed Ephron’s knuckles.

Tacopina established whereas questioning a police detective that seven officers who searched a sidewalk and avenue about 20 minutes after the photographs had been allegedly fired discovered no proof of the taking pictures, and {that a} pair of 9 mm shell casings in police possession had been recovered by Ephron, who returned to the scene about an hour after the standoff.

Tacopina performed physique digital camera video of the officers, who searched the bottom for about 10 minutes. Ephron, who first went to police to report the incident two days later, turned over the shell casings, which the detective mentioned had no recoverable fingerprints on them.

Prosecutors confirmed a separate video from close to the scene the place no persons are initially seen, however what feels like two gunshots could be heard. Then a person comes operating round a nook, then slows to a stroll. The person’s id shouldn’t be clear within the video, however LAPD Detective Frank Flores testified they’ve established it’s Rocky.

Flores testified beneath Tacopina’s questioning that no 9 mm pistol was recovered when a search warrant was served on Rocky.

Prosecutors confirmed a nonetheless from surveillance video displaying a person in a hooded sweatshirt whose face shouldn’t be seen holding what seems to be a gun, together with one other picture from the identical video displaying the face of the person within the sweatshirt, with no gun seen. Flores testified that the mixed pictures led them to determine it was Rocky.

Tacopina, who can also be representing Donald Trump in his New York felony case and others, pressed the detective on the weapon, suggesting police had no means of realizing whether or not it was a loaded and even actual gun.

“That gun or no matter it was was not examined, proper?” Tacopina requested. “No, it was by no means recovered,” Flores mentioned.

Tacopina requested, “You’re undecided if it’s an operable gun or a non-operable gun or no matter?”

“With out having it, I can’t inform you whether or not it’s operable,” the detective replied.

Tacopina additionally tried to solid doubt on the minor damage to Ephron’s hand, questioning why he waited till he returned to New York to hunt medical therapy.

He confirmed the detective a photograph of the scraped fingers and mentioned, sarcastically, “It’s a miracle he survived that taking pictures.”

The choose admonished him, one in all a number of instances she informed Tacopina to vary his tone.

Rocky was arrested at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport within the case in April, and charged in August. He arrived within the courtroom Monday morning sporting a darkish swimsuit, sun shades and a face masks, after spending the weekend on the Formulation One Las Vegas Grand Prix auto race, the place he had a outstanding position as Puma’s artistic director within the clothes model’s partnership with F1.

He has launched little music lately, and has grow to be higher often called the romantic associate, fellow vogue influencer and co-parent of Rihanna, with whom he had a second son in Might. His first two studio albums in 2013 and 2015 each went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Rocky additionally turned an unlikely trigger for then-President Donald Trump, who mentioned he was attempting to get the rapper freed and returned to the U.S. when he was jailed after a brawl in Sweden in 2019. He was discovered responsible of assault at trial however was given a “conditional sentence” that meant no further jail time.

In California courts, preliminary hearings like these are a type of miniature model of a trial, with solely a choose deciding whether or not enough proof exists to maneuver ahead. The usual of proof for doing so is way decrease than what’s required for felony guilt.

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