A jury found rapper Tory Lanez guilty Friday of all charges within the 2020 shooting of Megan Thee Stallion outside a Los Angeles party.
The Grammy-winning rapper accused Lanez of shooting her within the foot after the pair left a celebration at Kylie Jenner’s home in 2020. Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, pleaded not guilty to shooting her and dedicated a complete album to rebutting Megan Thee Stallion’s version of events.
He was originally charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. Prosecutors added a 3rd charge, discharging a firearm with gross negligence, earlier this month. Lanez faces a maximum sentence of twenty-two years and eight months in prison. He might also face deportation to his home country of Canada after serving his sentence.
Jurors reached the decision after seven hours of deliberations. Lanez was immediately taken into custody after the decision.
A sentencing hearing is about for Jan. 27.
In an announcement following the decision, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón commended Megan Thee Stallion for her “bravery.”
“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability together with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you simply didn’t deserve,” he said. “You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face and you’ve got been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”
Alex Spiro, an attorney for Megan Thee Stallion, said in an announcement, “The jury got it right. I’m thankful there’s justice for Meg.”
The case originated in July 2020, when police stopped an SUV carrying the pair and two others in Hollywood Hills. Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, testified that she initially told police that she had cut her feet on 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.
“I could not walk for some time,” she testified. “I still have nerve damage. I am unable to really feel the side of my left foot. The back of my feet are at all times sore, but I just push through it.”
She publicly stated on her Instagram weeks after the incident that she had been shot and eventually identified Lanez because the shooter. She later took aim at him within the song “Shots Fired.”
In her testimony, Megan Thee Stallion said Lanez offered her $1 million to maintain quiet in regards to the shooting.
In an interview with Gayle King in April, before the trial, Megan Thee Stallion explained that she had initially lied to police because she feared entering into a more dangerous situation.
“You think that I’m about to inform the police that we … us Black people got a gun within the automotive?” she asked. “You wish me to inform the law that we got a gun within the automotive in order that they can shoot all of us up?”
Lanez declined to testify in his defense. His attorneys had called Sean Kelly, a witness who lived in the realm, to inform the court that he had been woke up by two women fighting the night of the shooting.
Kelly testified that he did see two women fighting, in accordance with Variety, but then said he saw what seemed to be multiple gunshots come from a person who was “firing in every single place.”
Jurors also heard a taped interview with Megan Thee Stallion’s former friend Kelsey Harris, from September, by which she gave an in depth account of the altercation between the 2 rappers.
Harris, who was also within the SUV, testified in court before the recording was played that she couldn’t recall quite a few details of the shooting but reportedly offered clear details of the night in her interview with prosecutors.
Harris said within the taped interview that she heard the 2 argue about their “artistry” and careers before the shooting, in accordance with Rolling Stone. She said that Lanez had ordered the ladies to exit the SUV, and Megan Thee Stallion was walking away when the primary shots were fired.
“He’s shooting excessive of the door,” Harris told prosecutors. “(He’s) leaning over the front passenger door, and he was shooting the gun.”
The trial has garnered significant attention online, with many Megan Thee Stallion fans criticizing the general public attention given to the rapper’s sexual history. Fans have called out the slut-shaming or victim-blaming getting used to distract from the violence she was subjected to. On the day she took the stand, 1000’s online used the hashtag #WeStandWithMegan to rally behind her virtually.
One user wrote in a tweet with greater than 48,000 likes, “I personally don’t care if Megan slept with your entire city of Houston. WHY WAS SHE SHOT?”
Other celebrities have also spoken up in regards to the case online, including Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” collaborator Cardi B. She called her a “superstar” in an Instagram Live.
“Why would any person lie about getting shot?” Cardi said. “Why?”
Not all the online chatter has been supportive of Megan Thee Stallion. Rapper 50 Cent posted a tweet earlier this month with a series of photos that appeared to point out Megan Thee Stallion transforming into actor Jussie Smollett. He wrote that he was “confused” and didn’t “know what to think” before adding a link to his merchandise website.
Smollett was sentenced to jail and extra probation in March for falsely reporting to police that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019.