A jury found rapper Tory Lanez guilty Friday of all counts in the 2020 shooting of Megan Thee Stallion outside a party in Los Angeles.
The Grammy-winning rapper has accused Lanez of shooting her in the foot after the pair left a party at Kylie Jenner’s house in 2020. Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, has pleaded not guilty to shooting her and has dedicated an entire album to Megan Thee’s rebuttal. Stallion’s version of events.
He was originally charged with assault with a semi-automatic firearm and carrying a loaded and unregistered firearm in a vehicle. Prosecutors added a third charge, grossly negligent firing of a firearm, earlier this month. Lenz faces a maximum sentence of 22 years and eight months in prison. He may also face deportation to his home country of Canada after serving his sentence.
The jury reached its verdict after seven hours of deliberation. Linz was arrested immediately after the verdict.
The sentencing hearing is set for January 3rd. 27.
In a statement released following the sentencing, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon commended Megan Thee Stallion for her “bravery.”
“You have shown incredible courage and incredible vulnerability with your testimony despite the repeated and outrageous attacks that you did not deserve,” he said. “You faced unfair and vile scrutiny that no woman should face, and you were an inspiration to others across L.A. County and the nation.”
“The jury got it right. I am grateful that there is justice for Meg,” Alex Spiro, attorney for Meghan Thee Stallion, said in a statement.
The case arose in July 2020, when police stopped an SUV carrying the husband and two others in the Hollywood Hills. Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Jovon Ruth Pitt, testified that she initially told police she cut her feet on the glass when asked why she was bleeding.
She was taken by ambulance to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where doctors found bullet fragments in her foot, which required surgery to remove them.
“I couldn’t walk for a while,” she testified. “I still have nerve damage. I can’t really feel the side of my left foot. The back of my foot always hurts, but I’m pressing on.”
She publicly stated on her Instagram weeks after the incident that she had been shot and eventually identified Lenz as the shooter. I later shot him in the song “Shots Fired”.
In her testimony, Megan Thee Stallion said Lenz offered her $1 million to keep quiet about the shooting.
In an interview with Gayle King in April, before the trial, Megan Thee Stallion explained that she initially lied to the police because she was afraid of getting into a more dangerous situation.
“Do you think I’m about to tell the police that… we black people have a gun in the car?” she asked. “Do you want me to tell the law we have a gun in the car so they can shoot us all?”
Lenz refused to testify in his defence. His lawyers called Sean Kelly, a witness who lives in the area, to tell the court that he was awakened by two women fighting the night of the shooting.
Kelly testified that he watched two women fight, according to Variety, but then said he saw what appeared to be multiple shots coming from a man who was “shooting all over the place.”
Jurors also heard a recorded interview with Kelsey Harris, Megan Thee Stallion’s ex-girlfriend, from September, in which she gave a detailed description of the two rappers’ altercation.
Harris, who was also in the SUV, testified in court before the recording was played that she could not remember many details of the shooting, but did report that she gave clear details about the night in her interview with prosecutors.
Harris said in the recorded interview that she overheard the two arguing about their “art” and professions before the shooting, according to Rolling Stone. She said Lenz ordered the women out of the SUV, and Megan Thee Stallion was driving away when the first shots were fired.
“He shoots at the top of the door,” Harris told prosecutors. “(He’s) leaning against the front passenger door, and he was firing the gun.”
The trial received a lot of attention online, with many fans of Megan Thee Stallion criticizing the public interest in the rapper’s sexual history. Fans have called for the use of shaming or victim-blaming to deflect attention from the violence she experienced. On the day she took over the platform, thousands across the internet used the hashtag #WeStandWithMegan to rally virtually behind her.
In a tweet that garnered more than 48,000 likes, one user wrote, “Personally I don’t care if Megan sleeps with the whole city of Houston. Why was the filming done?”
Other celebrities have also spoken out about the affair online, including Megan Thee Stallion’s collaborator “WAP” Cardi B. She called her a “superstar” in an Instagram Live.
“Why would someone lie about being shot?” Cardi said. “Why?”
Not all the chatter online was supportive of Megan Thee Stallion. rapper 50 cent He posted a tweet earlier this month With a series of photos emerging to show Megan Thee Stallion transforming into actress Jussie Smollett. He wrote that he was “confused” and didn’t “know what to think” before adding a link to his merchandise site.
Smollett was sentenced to prison and additional probation in March for falsely reporting to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019.