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A$AP Rocky to stand trial after being accused of firing gun at former friend

A$AP Rocky is to stand trial in January on charges he fired a gun at his former childhood friend.

The ‘Praise the Lord’ hitmaker – real name Rakim Mayers – pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a firearm in August 2022, but at a preliminary hearing on Monday a Los Angeles judge ruled there is sufficient evidence for the rapper to stand trial following the alleged incident on November 6, 2021.

Rocky is alleged to have fired a handgun at Terell Ephron – who is also known as A$AP Relli – causing minor injuries.

Superior Court Judge ML Villar said “the totality of the video and testimony” showed there was enough evidence for the rapper to go to trial.

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According to PEOPLE, Rocky’s lawyer Joe Tacopina said outside the court: “I am certain Rocky will be vindicated of all of this.”

The trial is due to begin on January 8, 2024, and Rocky – who has two sons, RZA, 18 months, and Riot, three months, with pop singer Rihanna, 35 – could face up to nine years in jail if found guilty.

In August 2022, Rocky pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault, just days after he was formally charged.

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said at the time: “Discharging a gun in a public place is a serious offence that could have ended with tragic consequences not only for the person targeted but also for innocent bystanders visiting Hollywood.

“My office conducted a thorough review of the evidence in this case and determined that the addition of a special firearm allegation was warranted.”

Rocky was first arrested in April 2022 in connection with the incident after landing at Los Angeles Airport on a private plane with the ‘Umbrella’ hitmaker just weeks before she gave birth.

He was released after a $550,000 (about R10-million) bail was posted.

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