A judge has determined that there is enough probable cause for rapper Rakim Mayers, also called A$AP Rocky, to stand trial for the alleged shooting of his friend and former collective group member A$AP Relli in 2021.
The rapper appeared for the probable cause hearing on November 9, 2023, where the prosecution presented evidence in the form of a video and text messages between him and Relli in a bid to show that there was a need for trial as the evidence was sufficient to show wrongdoing.
Relli, who took the stand during the hearing, said he and Rocky agreed to meet up on November 6, 2021, to discuss an ongoing dispute. He claimed that Rocky insisted that they meet “face to face.” However, the rapper showed up with two men- Illijah Ulanger, also known as A$AP Illz, and Jamel Phillips, also known as A$AP Twelvyy, one of whom carried a knife, and Rocky carrying a gun.
Relli claimed that Rocky threatened him. “I’ll kill you right now,” Relli claims Rocky said to him.
Relli also recalled that he taunted Rocky telling him -“Shoot that sh*t. Why you brought a gun if you’re not going to use it? You don’t scare me.”
As Rocky was leaving, Relli claims he told him that he failed the other group members and everybody was afraid to confront him, following which Rocky turned around and shot him.
The bullet grazed his hand, Relli said. The argument was also caught on a nearby surveillance tape showing four men before the shot was fired. The video itself is not clear and was “grainy,” reporters said.
On Monday, the judge determined that there was enough probable cause for Rocky to stand trial on two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.
ASAP Rocky and Relli alleged incident captured on surveillance. Rocky is heading for trial for the incident pic.twitter.com/i7FdDlGP4g
— Urban Islandz (@urbanislandz) November 21, 2023
Rocky will be arraigned on January 8, 2024. He is facing four to eight years in jail if convicted.
The Harlem rapper was present in court on Monday but was not accompanied by the mother of his children, Rihanna.
A$AP Rocky’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, also said he was confident the rapper will be freed of the charges.
“I am certain Rocky is going to be vindicated when all is said and done,” he said to Meghann Cuniff before adding, “There’s some evidence that’s going to be insurmountable. The witness (Relli) is not going to be able to withstand cross-examination in front of the jury.”