Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court for shooting Megan Thee Stallion in 2020.
The two-day sentencing hearing lasted much longer than expected, with Judge David Herriford asking numerous questions of the lawyers for each side up until he made his ruling.
As legal journalist Meghann Cuniff reported, just before it was announced, Lanez cited Megan as “someone I still care for dearly to this day,” and he said the two had bonded over having lost their mothers.
“We would sit there and drink, and drink until we got numb,” he said.
Lanez, 31, explained that he “said some very immature things that I shouldn’t have said” about the shooting. “I revealed some secrets I shouldn’t have revealed.”
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 13 years. Lanez’s team had asked for probation and rehabilitation.
Following the sentencing, Lanez’s lawyer Jose Baez said he doesn’t think the rapper received a fair trial, and he plans to appeal the sentence.
“There are significant issues… that we’ve laid out in our motion for a new trial,” he said.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón issued his own statement, obtained by Yahoo Entertainment, saying, “Over the past three years, Mr. Peterson has engaged in a pattern of conduct that was intended to intimidate Ms. Pete and silence her truths from being heard. Women, especially Black women, are afraid to report crimes like assault because they are too often not believed. 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. This case highlighted the numerous ways that our society must do better for women.”
Lanez, whose real name is Daystar Peterson, was convicted in December of three felonies in connection with the crime: assault with a semiautomatic firearm, discharging a firearm with gross negligence and having a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle. He maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
A jury found Lanez guilty of shooting Megan Thee Stallion, born Megan Pete, in both feet on July 12, 2020, after the two left a party at Kylie Jenner’s home together. They argued at the party and in the car before she exited, which is when he shot her as he commanded her to dance.
She had to have surgery for her wounds, and, as she explained in a letter read to the court Monday, suffered other negative effects.
“Since I was viciously shot by the defendant, I have not experienced a single day of peace,” Megan, 28, said in a statement that pleaded for a tough sentence. “Slowly but surely, I’m healing and coming back, but I will never be the same.”
She said Lanez had worsened the situation by calling on people to attack her on social media.
“He lied to anyone that would listen and paid bloggers to disseminate false information about the case on social media,” she wrote, per Cuniff. “He released music videos and songs to damage my character and continue his crusade.”
Megan was not in court for his sentencing, she said, because she “simply could not bring myself to be in a room with Tory again.”
However, Lanez’s father, Sonstar Peterson, and several others argued for a lighter sentence, citing struggles with alcohol and other challenges the rapper has faced. The elder Peterson said that the death of his son’s mother when he was 11 was something Lanez never got over.
In all, the judge in the case received 76 letters on Lanez’s behalf, including one from Iggy Azalea and ones from a police chief and a state representative about his charity work, Cuniff reported. (Azalea posted Tuesday, “I don’t ‘support’ anyone,” but rather prison reform, and that she was told only the judge would see her words.)
The case sparked debate in the hip-hop community, with artists taking sides, and on the internet in general.
Lanez had been scheduled to be sentenced in January, but it was delayed because he hired new attorneys and asked for a new trial. He was not given one.
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