A$AP Rocky could learn Monday whether he will face trial over allegations he fired a gun at a former friend and collaborator outside a Hollywood hotel.
A Los Angeles judge is set to hear testimony against the 35-year-old rap star and father of two with Rihanna on Monday to decide whether he should be tried on two counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm. automatic. He pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors allege that outside the W. Hotel in Hollywood on November 6, 2021, Rocky pointed a handgun at Terell Ephron, then, during a confrontation shortly after, fired shots that grazed Ephron’s knuckles and left him with minor injuries.
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On the first day of the hearing earlier this month, Ephron, who formerly went by the name A$AP Relli, testified that he and Rocky were close friends when they were teenagers, along with the other members of the A collective $AP, a group of New York high school students. students who were looking to make music and pursue other art forms.
He said their friendship lasted well after Rocky became a star, but began to fray after he felt that Rocky had failed to deliver on his business promises and had neglected the other members of their high school collective, who led difficult lives. Tensions came to a head when the shots were fired in 2021, he said.
Prosecutors also released surveillance video that captured part of the incident. It appears to show Rocky brandishing a gun and possibly shooting it, although his lawyers deny he did so.
Rocky was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in the case in April and charged in August. He attended the Nov. 8 hearing, as is typical in criminal cases, and is expected to be in court Monday.
He is a two-time Grammy nominee whose first two studio albums in 2013 and 2015 both reached number one on the Billboard 200.
He has released little music in recent years and has become better known as the romantic partner, fellow fashion influencer and co-parent of Rihanna, with whom he had a second son in May.
Rocky also became an unlikely cause for then-President Donald Trump, who said he was trying to free the rapper and return him to the United States when he was jailed after a fight in Sweden in 2019 .He was convicted of assault at trial, but was found guilty of assault. received a “suspended sentence,” which meant no additional prison time.
Now, Rocky is represented in the Los Angeles case by Trump attorney Joe Tacopina, who is representing the ex-president in his New York criminal case and others.
Tacopina confronted Ephron during a contentious cross-examination during his testimony on November 8, suggesting through his questioning that Ephron had fabricated the incident for financial gain because he had also filed a civil suit.
In California courts, preliminary hearings like these are a sort of miniature version of a trial, in which only a judge decides whether there is enough evidence to move forward. The standard of proof for this is much lower than that required for criminal guilt.
Superior Court Judge ML Villar could make a decision on whether to continue the trial as soon as Monday, although testimony or his decision could take longer.