Rapper Tory Lanez Convicted Friday of shooting music star Megan Thee Stallion in the foot during an alcohol-fuelled curbside confrontation in the predawn hours of July 12, 2020.
After seven hours of deliberation, a Los Angeles jury indicted the Love singer on all three counts, finding that he assaulted Meghan with a semi-automatic firearm, causing significant bodily injury, firing the weapon negligently, and possessing it concealed and unregistered. Weapon inside his SUV.
Lenz, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, faces up to 22 years and eight months in prison under his sentence, scheduled for January 27. He also faces subsequent deportation because he is a Canadian citizen.
“The jury got it right. I’m grateful that there is justice for Meg,” said Alex Spiro, Meghan’s attorney.
Prosecutor Georges Gascon added: “I want to start by highlighting Meghan’s courage.” “You have shown incredible courage and vulnerability in your testimony despite repeated and outrageous attacks that you did not deserve. You have faced unfair and vile scrutiny no woman should face, and you have been an inspiration to others throughout L.A. County and the nation.”
The ruling follows a nine-day trial during which Meghan told the jury she was trying to escape a screaming match inside Peterson’s Cadillac Escalade when she heard the rapper say “Dance you bitch!” She turned to see him aiming a 9mm semi-automatic handgun at her.
“I am in shock. I am afraid. I heard a gun being fired. I could not believe he was shooting me,” she testified in the crowded courtroom. He was holding a gun and pointing it at me.
The Grammy winner, 27, said she fell to the ground and crawled into a nearby walkway. She said, “I looked at my feet, and I saw all the blood.” “Now everyone is screaming. He looked shocked.”
Peterson had no visible reaction when the first guilty verdict was read, but he later hung his head. Then pandemonium erupted when his father, Sonstar Peterson, shouted “this evil system” after jumping from the front row where the rapper’s young son was also sitting. “You two are evil, you are evil,” he shouted, signaling to the prosecutors before being forced out of the courtroom.
Peterson, 30, was handcuffed and taken into immediate custody.
“We are shocked by the verdict. There was insufficient evidence to convict Mr. Peterson. We believe that this case has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. We will explore all options including appeal,” Peterson’s defense attorney, George Majdisian, offered.
Over three hours of agonizing testimony last week, Meghan described her “terrified” reaction to the attack and the fear and confusion that followed.
The “WAP” singer said she became complicit in the cover-up when she initially told investigators she was bleeding profusely because she stepped on glass. She said Peterson apologized and begged her to keep quiet as the sirens approached.
“He’s saying, ‘Please don’t say anything. I’ll give you a million dollars. I can’t go to jail. You’ve already caught me with a gun before,'” she testified.
During closing arguments on Wednesday and Thursday, Magdisian called Meghan a “liar,” and told jurors they must conclude that she fabricated a $1 million bribe attempt because she said Peterson also told her he was on probation, which wasn’t the case.
Magdisian further argued that his client had gunshot residue on his hands because he was trying to wrestle the gun away from the actual shooter, who he identified as Meghan’s now-estranged best friend Kelsey Harris. The jury didn’t buy it.
“Whether or not he’s on watch in 2020 doesn’t matter. What matters is that he is Tell In her final response before jurors began their deliberations Thursday morning, Deputy District Attorney Kathy Ta said Meghan was being watched – because he was manipulating her. He is trying to appeal to her sympathy. “I have a gun charge, I’m on probation, please don’t say anything.” It’s a pattern of manipulation to get witnesses to cover everything up.”
The two-week trial included head-spinning testimony from Harris, who was present in the Escalade on the morning of the shooting and who gave an 80-minute taped statement to prosecutors in September, in which she vividly recalled Peterson firing five shots, causing injury to Megan. On the ground.
Once she was in the courtroom Dec. 14 under a subpoena from prosecutors, Harris invoked her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and sought blanket immunity. Prosecutors agreed to grant her “use immunity” instead, meaning her sworn testimony could not be used against her in a future trial, but she could still be charged with something based on other evidence.
On the witness stand, Harris disavowed key aspects of her statement in September, claiming she did not see Peterson shoot and was operating under “assumptions” when she sent three lines of text to Meghan’s bodyguard five minutes after the shooting that read: “Help/Tori shot Meg / 911.”
While Harris refused to implicate Peterson in her live testimony, she said it was “ridiculous” for his defense to claim that she was the shooter. She said it was true that she, Meghan and Peterson were driving away from a pool party at Kylie Jenner’s house when Peterson stirred up “a lot of swearing” by revealing he was intimate with Meghan after having sex with Harris previously. But she was adamant that her subsequent split from Meghan was not based on romantic rivalry. She said it stemmed from her belief that no one would stand up for her amid accusations online that she shot Meghan.
In her own testimony, Meghan said she underwent surgery with general anesthesia at a Los Angeles hospital during the height of COVID restrictions. When she woke up with stitches in her feet, she couldn’t walk.
While she was still in the hospital, Peterson sent her a clear apology that read: “Meg, I know you never went to speak to me again, but I really want you to know that I am sorry from the bottom of my heart. And I was just so drunk.” Still, I should have Shit never happens, and I can’t change what happened. I just feel terrible. Because I was really, really drunk.”
Meghan said she had a hard time navigating the aftermath of her attack and defended her decision to keep her former intimate relationship with Peterson a secret before the trial. She told jurors that the non-exclusive relationship left her feeling “embarrassed” and, ultimately, deemed irrelevant to the violence that landed her in the hospital.
Naming Peterson as her attacker came with a heavy price, she told the jury.
“I feel like every guy in a position of power in the music industry, even people who aren’t even a rapper, never really cared what sides of the story were. They immediately took this guy’s side and they’ve been giving me hell for the past three years.”
She testified, “Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t call me a liar or don’t shame me for being a grown woman and having sex,” saying that the “whole story” turned out to be who she was having sex with.
“I don’t understand why that matters,” she said of Peterson’s past sexual relationship. She was adamant that he was the trigger man and not her ex-boyfriend Harris. “Tori came out and told us many different lies, about not shooting me, about not being the shooter, and making it all about a sex scandal.”
Megan said she now deals with a constant barrage of threats and harassment online. She said it made her feel like a “sick bird” that other members of her industry sought to avoid.
“Because I got shot, I turned into a kind of villain, who is the victim. It ruined my whole life,” she said, adding that she often feels “depressed” about how she is “shamed” online. She also spoke in depth about this trauma earlier this year Rolling Stone Cut cover.
Megan told the jury, “I wish he had shot and killed me (instead of) me suffering this torture.”
In her closing argument, Ta said it made no sense for Meghan to frame Peterson if Harris pulled the trigger.
“He’s a fellow rapper in the industry. He has boy club support. It would have been easier for her to say, ‘My crazy assistant did this to me.’ It’s hard for her to stand up against the Tories,” Ta argued. “She had to think about it because She was worried about what it would cost her, and it cost her a lot.”
Ta said the case was “not about anyone’s sexuality” and urged the jury to consider the evidence and testimony after oath. She said it was Peterson’s “ego” that led to the shooting. “(Meghan) disrespected his rapping. She insults him as a rapper, and that pissed him off. He had a huge ego and couldn’t handle the disrespect. How dare she walk away from him. So he reasserted his dominance. He was going to show it to her.”
“Women, especially black women, are afraid to report crimes like assault and sexual violence because they are often unbelievable,” said Attorney General Gascon. “This trial, for the second time this month (after Harvey Weinstein’s conviction), has highlighted the many ways our society must do better for women.”
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