US rapper A$AP Rocky keeps on his stance as he claims he did not shoot friend A$AP Relli during an argument in Hollywood and has branded it an extortion attempt after pleading not guilty to charges in a Los Angeles courthouse last month.
The 33-year-old rapper’s – born Rakim Athelaston Mayers – lawyer Joe Tacopina told TMZ on Friday: ‘Rocky didn’t commit a crime.
‘It was an extortion attempt by a former associate, who threatened to make false criminal accusations if Rocky didn’t pay him.’
Last month Rocky-the Praise the Lord rapper, who welcomed a baby with his girlfriend Rihanna earlier this year, pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to shooting at a former friend and music partner during an argument.
Charged with two felony counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, Rocky – real name Rakim Mayers – is facing up to four years in jail on each charge if he’s convicted.
Tacopina told the publication that he has two eyewitnesses who reiterate Rocky’s claims that Relli was not actually hit by bullet fragments and that shots were not even fired.
The lawyer claims that Rocky’s friend had made up the story in a ‘get-rich-quick scheme.’
Tacopina believes that both the civil and criminal cases against Rocky are ‘slam dunks’ as he told TMZ: ‘What will become abundantly clear in the upcoming months, based on facts and evidence, is that Rocky is innocent of these charges.’