ASAP Rocky pleads not guilty as Relli celebrates charges.
The Harlem rapper appeared in court on Wednesday in Los Angeles to answer to two counts of assault using a semiautomatic firearm against his former high school friend. A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, got news of the charges on Monday after the alleged shooting victim in the November 2021 incident revealed himself.
Rocky, who appeared with his attorney, pleaded not guilty to the counts after the judge read them to him. He is accused of luring his friend Relli to a location in Hollywood where they had a disagreement that led to Rocky allegedly firing multiple shots at Relli.
Relli filed a civil suit for damages from A$AP Rocky, claiming that he suffered an injury to one of his hands due to a bullet grazing him. The incident shocked many as the alleged victim’s identity was previously unknown to the public. The suit is seeking damages for assault, battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Rocky.
On Wednesday, Rocky stood in court with lawyer Sara L. Caplan who entered a not guilty plea for Rocky. The artist did not say anything except when the judge addressed him to confirm his agreement with the date set for his second court appearance.
The judge granted a protective order requested by prosecutors that prevented Rocky from having any firearms or ammunition. The Harlem rapper is also prohibited from contacting or coming within 100 yards of Relli.
“We request that the protective order be mutual, your honour because my client does not pose a danger,” Caplan said in the rapper’s defense.
The presiding judge Victoria Wilson said that Relli was not on trial, so there was no need for a protective order against him.
“As the case now stands, there is a case against Mr. Mayers. If one is subsequently filed against Mr Ephron, we could deal with that then,” Judge Wilson said.
Relli had previously said that he was receiving death threats from Rocky after identifying himself as the victim the “Trilla” rapper allegedly shot.
In the meantime, the judge did not consider Rocky a flight risk, and his bond was set at $550,000. The rapper is allowed to travel and perform, but his travel dates must be cleared by the court.
A$AP Rocky is facing up to 9 years in jail if convicted of the offenses.
In the meantime, Rocky has not filed a defense to the civil suit by Relli. The lawsuit claims that Rocky came armed to hurt Relli when he agreed to meet up with the rapper.
“During this altercation and while in close physical proximity to the plaintiff, the defendant pulled out a handgun and purposefully pointed it in the direction of the plaintiff and fired multiple shots,” the lawsuit said.
“Unbeknownst to Mr Ephron, A$AP Rocky was not just planning for a conversation and came armed with a semiautomatic handgun,” the attorney said. “After arriving at the location, a conversation ensued whereby without provocation, warning, or any justification, A$AP Rocky produced the handgun and intentionally fired multiple shots at Mr Ephron.”
Puerto Rico Tribune