A$AP Rocky will stand trial on fees he allegedly fired gun at ex-friend – Nationwide

A Los Angeles decide dominated Monday that there’s sufficient proof for A$AP Rocky to face trial on fees that he fired a gun at a former pal and collaborator on the streets close to a Hollywood resort in 2021.

Superior Courtroom Decide M.L. Villar made the ruling at at a preliminary listening to, after listening to roughly a day and a half of testimony from two witnesses. Rocky, who gave no seen response to the choice, has pleaded not responsible to 2 felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

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

He might rise up to 24 years in jail if convicted on all fees, prosecutors mentioned.

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

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

Joe Tacopina.

A$AP Rocky’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, questions a witness throughout a preliminary listening to for his shopper’s case over an alleged assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

Allison Dinner/EPA by way of AP, Pool

On the first day of the listening to, which resumed Monday after an extended delay, Terell Ephron testified that he and Rocky, a pal 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 pictures that grazed Ephron’s knuckles.

“You want nothing greater than Mr. Ephron’s testimony by itself,” Deputy District Legal professional Paul Przelomiec advised the decide earlier than her ruling, including that the surveillance video that captured elements of the incident “corroborates precisely what Mr. Ephron mentioned.”

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Tacopina countered that “there are some actual issues with the testimony of the complainant,” including, “I feel there’s not sufficient proof.”

Tacopina established, whereas questioning a police detective earlier Monday, that seven officers who searched a sidewalk and road about 20 minutes after the pictures had been allegedly fired discovered no proof of the capturing, 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 digicam 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 performed a video from close to the scene the place no persons are initially seen, however what appears like two gunshots may be heard. Then a person comes operating round a nook, then slows to a stroll. The person’s identification isn’t clear within the video, however LAPD Detective Frank Flores testified they’ve established it’s Rocky.

Flores testified that no 9 mm pistol was recovered when a search warrant was served on Rocky.

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

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Tacopina, who can be representing Donald Trump in his New York prison case, pressed the detective on the weapon, suggesting police had no method of figuring out 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 unsure if it’s an operable gun or a non-operable gun or no matter?”

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

Tacopina additionally tried to solid doubt on the minor harm 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 capturing.”

The decide admonished him, considered one of a number of instances she advised Tacopina to alter his tone.

Rocky was arrested at Los Angeles Worldwide Airport within the case in April and was 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 Components One Las Vegas Grand Prix auto race, the place he had a outstanding position as Puma’s inventive director within the clothes model’s partnership with F1.

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He has launched little music in recent times, and has change into higher often called the romantic accomplice, fellow style influencer and co-parent of Rihanna, with whom he had a second son in Could. His first two studio albums in 2013 and 2015 each went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Requested outdoors courtroom whether or not Rocky would ask Rihanna, who didn’t attend the preliminary hearings, to attend his trial, Tacopina responded, “He would by no means topic his household, he desires to defend them, he’s dealing with it like Rocky would deal with one thing, he protects his household.”

Rocky additionally grew to become an unlikely trigger for then-President Donald Trump, who mentioned he was making an attempt 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.

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A$AP Rocky avoids harsher sentence