A$AP Rocky is ordered to stand trial in Los Angeles on two felony firearm charges stemming from a 2021 altercation involving a former friend and fellow rapper.
Rapper A$AP Rocky was ordered on Monday (November 20) to stand trial in Los Angeles on two felony counts of assault with a firearm. The 35-year-old, the romantic partner to superstar Rihanna and father of her two sons, is accused of pointing a firearm at another hip-hop artist and alleged friend, Terell Ephron, before firing twice in Ephron’s direction during a heated argument in November 2021. Prosecutors claim Ephron suffered minor injuries in the incident.
Rocky, whose legal name is Rakim Mayers, was arrested in connection with the incident in April 2022 as he arrived in Los Angeles on a flight from Barbados and was charged four months later. On Monday, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar ruled prosecutors had sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. Rocky, who remains free on bond, has pleaded not guilty.
Joe Tacopina, attorney for Rocky, has argued in court that prosecutors failed to present sufficient proof that a shooting had even occurred, instead relying on surveillance videos and testimony that the defense found inconclusive. The defense also questions Ephron’s testimony in which he believed his left hand was grazed in the gunfire.
Terell Ephron, who performs under the name A$AP Relli as part of a hip-hop collective that formerly included both rappers, has also filed a civil lawsuit against Rocky, according to Los Angeles City News Service.
Since Rocky’s arrest in 2022, his partner Rihanna, a Barbados native, has given birth to the couple’s two sons. His first two studio albums, Long.Live.A$AP and At.Long.Last.A$AP, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2013 and 2015, while his third album, Testing, reached the Top 5 in 2018. He has worked with artists including Drake, Alicia Keys, Lana Del Rey, and Kendrick Lamar.