A Los Angeles judge ruled Monday that A$AP Rocky must stand trial on accusations he shot at a former friend in 2021—a ruling that came on the heels of prosecutors playing security footage in court that allegedly showed the rapper carrying a handgun just before the shooting.
The decision, made by Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar, came after a day and a half of testimony in a pair of preliminary hearings. Rocky, whose legal name is Rakim Athelaston Mayers, has pleaded not guilty to the two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm he faces.
Villar said the videos played by prosecutors, which appeared to show Rocky holding a pistol from multiple angles, helped her reached a decision to push forward with a criminal trial.
Pool photos from the courtroom showed that Rocky, 35, wore a mask throughout the hearing, but briefly removed it to sip water. The Associated Press reported that he didn’t react to Villar’s ruling.
Rocky’s attorney, Joe Tacopina, said Villar’s decision was an expected one.
“We’ve been planning for trial all along,” he said. “Rocky is going to be vindicated when all this is said and done, without question.”
The allegations against Rocky stem from a shooting outside a Hollywood hotel in 2021, where police say the star musician opened fire at Terell Ephron, an ex-pal and ex-collaborator of his, after a scuffle. Ephron testified previously that one bullet grazed his knuckles and injured him.
An arrest in the case didn’t come until April 2022, when Rocky was detained at Los Angeles International Airport. He was charged four months later.
Rocky, a two-time Grammy nominee that’s married to Rihanna, did not speak in his preliminary hearing. He’s scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 8.