A$AP Rocky must stand trial for allegedly shooting his former friend Terell “A$AP Relli” Ephron in 2021, a Los Angeles judge ruled yesterday (November 21), The Associated Press reports. The judge said there was enough evidence for Rocky to face the two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. Rocky has pleaded not guilty to both charges. He faces up to 24 years in prison, prosecutors said.
The judge emphasized that, while there is sufficient evidence for a trial, preliminary hearings have a much lower evidence standard, The AP reports. Rocky’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, said outside court, “We’re not disappointed, not surprised, we expected to go to trial, we’ve been planning for trial all along. Rocky is going to be vindicated when all this is said and done, without question.”
In the preliminary hearing, the prosecution and defense analyzed footage from the scene of an alleged shooting, in which prosecutors claim to have identified Rocky. Using bodycam footage, Tacopina established that police found no evidence of the shooting after searching a sidewalk and street about 20 minutes after the apparent sound of gunshots. Surveillance footage captured images of a hooded figure carrying what appears to be a gun, but detectives said the gun was not recovered.
A$AP Relli has also sued A$AP Rocky, both for the alleged shooting and for defaming him in the press.