A$AP Rocky to stand trial for 2021 shooting of A$AP Relli


Rakim Mayers, aka A$AP Rocky, in the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center during a preliminary hearing in his assault with a semi-automatic firearm case in Los Angeles on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. The charges stem from a November 2021 incident where Rocky allegedly pointed a semi-automatic handgun at Terell Ephron and fired multiple times. (Allison Dinner/EPA via AP, Pool)

Embattled rap artist A$AP Rocky will stand trial in Los Angeles for shooting a childhood friend and fellow performer.

The 35-year-old Grammy nominee, whose legal name is Rakim Mayers, is facing two counts of felony assault with a firearm for allegedly shooting his childhood friend, fellow rapper Terell Ephron, in 2021. If convicted, Mayers could be sentenced to up to nine years in prison.

Ephron is known publicly as A$AP Relli. The two men were friends as teens who attended high school together in New York City and were fellow members of the A$AP Mob, a Harlem-based rap collective.

Authorities said Mayers and Ephron argued on the streets of Hollywood, then Mayers drew a semi-automatic handgun and fired twice in Ephron’s direction, grazing Ephron’s knuckles. Although Ephron sustained only minor injuries, prosecutors said that discharging a gun in public was sufficiently dangerous such that heightened charges to include firearm possession were warranted. Mayer was not arrested for the shooting until April 2022 when the Los Angeles Police Department detained him as he was returning from a trip to Barbados with singer Rihanna. Mayer and Rihanna have two children together.

During the preliminary hearing, timestamped security camera footage was shown which included audible gunshots and a man said to be Mayers rounding the corner after the shooting. Mayers has pleaded not guilty and has denied that he is the person in the video.

Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar ruled Monday that there was sufficient evidence presented at the preliminary hearing to allow the case against Mayers to proceed to trial. The judge set an arraignment date of Jan. 8, 2024, after which the case will move toward trial. A guilty verdict would require a significantly higher burden of proof than did the preliminary finding of sufficient evidence.

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