A$AP Rocky Awaits Decision on Trial Following Hollywood Shooting Allegations
Rap artist A$AP Rocky is set to discover on Monday whether he will face trial over accusations that he fired a gun at a former friend and collaborator outside a Hollywood hotel.
In a Los Angeles courtroom, a judge will review evidence against the 35-year-old rapper, who has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. The charges stem from an incident on November 6, 2021, outside the W. Hotel in Hollywood, where prosecutors allege Rocky pointed a handgun at Terell Ephron and later fired shots that caused minor injuries.
During the hearing earlier this month, Ephron, formerly known as A$AP Relli, testified about his close friendship with Rocky from their teenage years as part of the A$AP collective. He claimed their relationship soured when Rocky allegedly failed to fulfill promised business ventures, leading to a confrontation in 2021.
Surveillance video presented by prosecutors purportedly shows Rocky brandishing a gun, although his defense denies that he fired it. Rocky, a two-time Grammy nominee, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in April and charged in August.
Represented by lawyer Joe Tacopina, known for his association with former President Donald Trump, Rocky faces the possibility of trial as early as Monday. Tacopina has contested Ephron’s account, suggesting during cross-examination that the former friend may be fabricating the incident for financial gain, given his civil lawsuit.
Preliminary hearings in California serve as a judge-led assessment of evidence to determine if there’s enough to proceed to trial, with a lower standard of proof compared to a full trial. Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar could make a decision on trial eligibility following Monday’s hearing.