A Los Angeles judge, M.L. Villar, has ruled that A$AP Rocky must stand trial for allegations of firing a gun at former friend and collaborator Terell Ephron outside a Hollywood hotel in 2021.
The ruling came after a day and a half of testimony during a preliminary hearing.
Rocky has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm. His attorney, Joe Tacopina, attempted to cast doubt on the case, emphasizing the lower evidence standard of preliminary hearings.
Terell Ephron, testifying during the hearing, claimed that Rocky, a childhood friend and fellow artist, pulled a gun on him and later fired shots that grazed his knuckles during a confrontation in Hollywood.
Deputy district attorney Paul Przelomiec argued that Ephron’s testimony, along with surveillance video, provided sufficient evidence for trial.
Tacopina, Rocky’s attorney, highlighted issues with Ephron’s testimony and questioned the absence of evidence found by police officers who searched the scene shortly after the alleged shooting.
He also emphasized the lack of recovery of a 9mm pistol during a search warrant served on Rocky.
The defense played a body camera video showing officers searching for evidence, while Tacopina questioned the credibility of the shell casings recovered by Ephron.
The prosecution presented a video near the scene with the sound of gunshots and identified Rocky as the person in the footage.
Despite the defense’s attempts to challenge the evidence, Judge Villar ruled that “the totality of the video and testimony” warranted a trial. Rocky’s attorney expressed confidence that the rapper would be vindicated.
The case revolves around conflicting narratives, with the prosecution relying on witness testimony and video evidence, while the defense raises questions about the credibility of the complainant and the handling of the investigation.