Tory Lanez, a Canadian rapper, was sentenced to ten years in jail after being found guilty of shooting hip-hop musician Megan Thee Stallion in the foot as the two exited a Los Angeles party in 2020.
The hearing began on Monday and concluded on Tuesday, bringing to a close a high-profile case in which Megan, 28, was subjected to what prosecutors described as “repeated and grotesque attacks.” It brought to light the scrutiny that Black women undergo when they disclose assault.
Lanez, whose actual name is Daystar Peterson, shot Megan, the three-time Grammy winner whose legal name is Megan Pete, after a party at reality star and beauty entrepreneur Kylie Jenner’s Hollywood Hills house on July 12, 2020.
“Lanez, 31, was convicted in December by a jury of three felony charges: assault with a semi-automatic handgun, carrying a loaded, unlicensed firearm in a vehicle, and firing a firearm with gross negligence.”
Lanez, who was clothed in an orange jumpsuit, addressed the court before the judge handed down his punishment. He apologized and stated that he accepted full responsibility for the 2020 shooting.
“If I could change it, I would, but I can’t,” he explained. “Everything I did that night, I take full responsibility,” he continued. “I truly am just trying to be a better person.”
Lanez was astonished but remained silent after the punishment was read. As she was carried out of the courtroom, his son’s mother burst into sobs.
Lanez’s legal team member Matthew Barhoma stated that appeals for both the punishment and the conviction are planned. When it challenges the sentence, the team will also request bail.
In sentencing him, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Herriford said it was “difficult to reconcile” the doting father and passionate philanthropist many described with the guy who shot Megan five times.
“Sometimes good people do bad things,” stated Herriford. “Actions have consequences, and there are no winners in this case.”
Lanez, according to Deputy District Attorney Alex Bott, called Megan a liar, threatened her, and harassed her.
“Not only did the defendant commit the heinous act of shooting her; he then sentenced her to two and a half years in hell,” Bott said following the sentencing.
Lanez was also facing deportation to Canada.
“We’re nowhere near that yet,” Jose Baez, one of Lanez’s attorneys, said of the possibility of deportation.
His lawyers argued for probation and urged he should be transferred from jail to a residential substance addiction treatment in order to get a reduced term. They claimed Lanez had an alcohol addiction disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his mother’s untimely death when he was 11 years old.
Prosecutors were “skeptical” of the claims, which were not presented during the trial. “This case has nothing to do with mental illness,” said prosecutor Bott. “He shot Megan because she bruised his ego.” Defense lawyers countered that there is a clear link between Lanez’s trauma and heavy alcohol use and his violent actions in 2020. “Someone has to be severely off to shoot someone because of a bruised ego,” Baez said.
The judge, Herriford, stated that he was “disinclined” to let such circumstances affect his judgement.
Lanez’s attorneys showed a lengthy film highlighting his charitable activities and family life, which Bott described as looking more like a prize for “man of the year” than “a misogynist and coward” guilty of murdering an innocent lady.
“Tory Lanez is not the victim in this story,” Bott said before the court.
Megan testified that Lanez ordered her to “dance” and discharged a gun at her feet as she moved away from an SUV in which the two were traveling with two other persons. She told the court that when officers inquired why she was bleeding, she originally told them she had cut her foot on glass. Doctors at the hospital later discovered gunshot fragments in her foot, necessitating surgery.
She told Gayle King on “CBS Mornings” in April, before the trial, that she originally lied to police because she was afraid of getting into a more hazardous position.
“Do you think I’m going to tell the cops that we… us Black people have a gun in the car?” she said. “Do you want me to tell the cops that we have a gun in the car so they can shoot us all?”
Megan, who identified Lanez as the shooter in an Instagram Live video and addressed the incident in her song “Shots Fired,” also testified about the physical suffering she continues to experience.
“I couldn’t walk for a little while,” she explained. “I’m still suffering from nerve damage.” I can’t feel the side of my left foot at all. My feet are constantly painful at the back, but I simply push through it.”
Lanez allegedly promised her $1 million to stay silent about the incident, according to her testimony in court.
Lanez, who spent a whole album refuting her account of events, did not testify at the trial. His attorneys maintained that Megan’s testimony that Lanez requested her not to go to police because he was on parole was incorrect, and that the DNA evidence used to identify him as the likely shooter fell short of industry standards.
His defence team also referred to the trial as a “case about jealousy,” telling jurors that Megan and her old friend Kelsey Nicole Harris, who was also in the car at the time of the incident, had an argument over Lanez and other guys.
Megan’s notoriety, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, has brought attention to the issue of violence against women.
“There are many people in our community who face acts of violence every day from people close to them and are afraid to speak up,” Gascón added. “I hope Ms. Pete’s bravery inspires those who feel helpless.”