Rocky's new lawyer, Joe Tacopina, told TMZ 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."
Tacopina tells us he has 2 eyewitnesses who back Rocky's story ... not only that Relli wasn't hit by bullet fragments, but that no shot was even fired. In other words, Tacopina says Relli has made up the story in a "get rich quick scheme."
As we reported, Rocky previously pled not guilty to both criminal charges of assault with a semiautomatic firearm.