Tory Lanez sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Megan Thee Stallion

Lanez was convicted of first-degree assault among other felonies in December last year and is now sentenced to a decade in prison

Tom Murray
Wednesday 09 August 2023 09:07 BST
Megan Thee Stallion opens up about alleged Tory Lanez shooting incident

Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday (8 August) following a drawn-out trial over the shooting of fellow rapper Megan Thee Stallion.

Lanez (whose legal name is Daystar Peterson), 31, has been in jail since 23 December after a jury convicted him of first-degree assault, discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and having a concealed and unregistered firearm in a vehicle.

Megan (real name Megan Pete), 28, testified during the trial that Lanez had fired a gun at the back of her feet and shouted for her to dance as she walked away from an SUV in which they had been riding in the summer of 2020. The pair had left a party at Kylie Jenner’s Hollywood Hills home.

Ahead of his sentencing, Lanez asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Herriford not to send him to prison, saying he still cares about Megan, calling her “someone I still care for dearly to this day”.

“We both lost our mothers. We would sit there and drink, and drink until we got numb,” he said of his relationship with the “WAP” artist.

Matthew Barhoma, a member of Lanez’s legal team, said they will be filing appeals for both the sentence and conviction.

In a statement read in court on Megan’s behalf on Monday, the artist said she “struggled with whether to attend in person, and her absence should be seen as her preserving her mental well-being”.

She reportedly said since Lanez shot her, “I’ve not experienced a single day of peace.” “He lied to anyone that would listen,” Megan said of Lanez.

Court reporter Meghann Cuniff reported: “Megan said mercy is for people who show remorse, and Lanez has shown none. She thanked the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for their support. She wants the sentence to be a message for everyone woman of violence.”

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Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez
Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez (Getty Images)

“I commend Megan Pete for her incredible bravery and vulnerability as she underwent months of probing investigation and court appearances where she had to relive her trauma, and the public scrutiny that followed,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon after the sentence was delivered.

During the court hearing, Judge Herriford summarised more than 70 letters of support for Lanez, including one from Australian rapper Iggy Azalea.

Los Angeles prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum that along with the crimes for which he was convicted, Lanez has re-traumatized Megan with social media posts about the case that emboldened many among his more than 2 million followers to attack her.

Judge Herriford denied a motion from Lanez’ defense attorneys for a new trial on 9 May.

Lanez’s lawyers had argued that a post from his Instagram account was improperly admitted into evidence. They said that Megan’s testimony that Lanez urged her not to go to police because he was on parole and would be in serious trouble was both untrue and an improper allowance of prior bad acts. And they said DNA evidence that prosecutors used to argue Lanez was the likely shooter fell well short of industry standards.

Tory Lanez
Tory Lanez (2018 Invision)

The day after Megan named him as the shooter, Lanez released his “Daystar” album with a track featuring lyrics that appeared to be aimed at Megan: “How the f--- you get shot in your foot / don’t hit no bones or tendons.”

Once arrested, he posted bail at $190,000 and was ordered to surrender all weapons and not contact Megan. He pleaded not guilty in November 2020 but violated the protective order after appearing with rapper DaBaby during a Rolling Loud Miami festival set in July 2021, moments after Megan got off stage. His bail was increased to $250,000.

In April 2022, he was briefly jailed for sending tweets that appeared to target her, increasing his bail to $350,000. And in October 2022, Lanez was placed on house arrest until the case went to trial after allegedly attacking another musician, August Alsina, at a concert, violating his bail.

Lanez began releasing mixtapes in 2009 and saw a steady rise in popularity, moving on to major-label albums. Megan Thee Stallion, now 28, was already a major rising star at the time of the shooting, and her prominence has surged since. She won a Grammy for best new artist in 2021, and has had No. 1 singles with “Savage,” featuring Beyoncé, and as a guest with Cardi B on “WAP.”

The allegations and subsequent charges against Lanez unleashed several waves of misinformation and online vitriol aimed at Megan, prompting conversations about misogynoir – a specific form of misogyny experienced by Black women.

In April, Megan spoke for the final time about being shot by Peterson and the public reaction to the shooting.

Explaining that she saw herself as a “survivor, because I have truly survived the unimaginable” rather than a “victim”, Megan said that she’d had to face her trauma being turned into a “running joke”.

“I understand the public intrigue, but for the sake of my mental health, I don’t plan to keep reliving the most traumatic experience of my life over and over again. I’m choosing to change the narrative because I’m more than just my trauma,” she said.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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