A$AP Rocky pleads not guilty in alleged shooting case

The rapper will face the court next on November 2

Appearing in court this week, A$AP Rocky (real name Rakim Mayers) has pleaded not guilty to both his two recent charges of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.

The charges – which were filed last week in Los Angeles – stem from an alleged incident in Hollywood last November, wherein former A$AP Mob member A$AP Relli (real name Terell Ephron) claimed he was shot by Mayers.

Last Sunday (August 15), Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said that his office had filed charges against Mayers for two counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm with allegations of personally using a firearm.

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Rolling Stone reports that Mayers took to a Los Angeles courtroom on Wednesday (August 17), appearing with his lawyer, Sara L. Caplan, as well as a private security detail. The publication noted that Mayers only spoke when he was agreeing to the next court date – currently scheduled for November 2 – with Caplan entering Mayers’ not guilty plea on his behalf.

During the hearing, Judge Victoria Wilson reportedly ordered Mayers to comply with a protective order, requested by prosecutors, which forbids him from being in possession of any firearms or ammunition. The rapper will also be required to keep a distance of at least 100 yards (91.44 metres) of Ephron.

Caplan requested for the protective order to be mutual – meaning Ephron would be bound to the same conditions – on the grounds that Mayers “does not pose a danger”. It’s reported that Wilson denied this request, saying: “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.”

Mayers remains free on a bond of $550,000. He’ll be allowed to travel for work purposes – such as touring obligations – however Wilson reportedly told Caplan that he should “clear dates” with the court before committing to them. Rolling Stone noted that if he’s convicted as charged, Mayers will face up to nine years in prison.

Allegations of the shooting itself went unreported, however back in April, Mayers was arrested for the incident after being detained at Los Angeles International Airport. It was claimed at the time that he’d been under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), with the shooting said to have happened near Vista Del Mar and Selma Ave around 10:20pm on November 6.

As noted in a statement from Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, that investigation is still underway via the LAPD’s Robbery/Homicide Division. Ephron had not been named as Mayers’ alleged shooting victim until last Wednesday (August 10), when the former A$AP Mob member’s attorneys, Jamal Tooson and Brian Hurwitz, shared a statement with Rolling Stone.

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In it, they formally accused Mayers of having lured Ephron to an “obscure” location in Hollywood “to discuss a disagreement between the two of them”, where “unbeknownst to Mr. Ephron, A$AP Rocky was not just planning for a conversation and came armed with a semi-automatic handgun”.

It was alleged that when Ephron and Mayers met, they had a conversation “whereby without provocation, warning, or any justification, A$AP Rocky produced the handgun and intentionally fired multiple shots at Mr. Ephron”. The incident was said to be in eyeshot of nearby surveillance cameras, and resulted in Ephron suffering minor injuries to his left hand, they claimed.

Furthermore, Tooson and Hurwitz said to Rolling Stone, Ephron has allegedly received “multiple death threats and irreparable harm to his career in the entertainment industry as a result of this incident”. Ephron currently works as a talent manager and producer, the publication reported, working with various entities in the fashion industry.

Mayers had been close with Ephron since high school. Though he never rapped for the A$AP Mob, Ephron was closely involved in its establishment – 2019 even saw Mayers credit Ephron for his introduction to the group, which was formed in 2006 by A$AP Yams, A$AP Bari, A$AP Illz and A$AP Kham.

NME has reached out to representatives of A$AP Rocky for comment.

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