A Los Angeles jury on Friday found rapper Tory Lanez guilty of three felonies in the 2020 shooting of hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion that left her with bullet fragments in her feet.
The jury deliberated for a day before convicting the 30-year-old Canadian rapper, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, having a loaded and unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. The charges could carry up to 22 years in prison.
Lanez showed no visible reaction when the verdict was read. He was handcuffed in the courtroom.
After the jury left the courtroom, Lanez’s father, Sonstar Peterson, stood up and began shouting, “This wicked system is on trial before Almighty God!” He then pointed to the two prosecutors handling the case and shouted, “You two are mean, mean people. You know exactly what you have done.
Deputies dragged him out of the courtroom, where he continued to scream in the hallway.
Megan Thee Stallion, whose legal name is Megan Pete, testified during the trial that Lanez shot a handgun at the back of her feet and yelled at her to dance as she walked away from the car in which they were.
She had to undergo surgery to remove bullet fragments from her feet.
The shooting sparked a national conversation that culminated during the trial, focusing on black victims’ reluctance to speak to police, the protection of black women, gender politics in hip-hop, and online toxicity.
In closing arguments, prosecutors highlighted the courage it took for Megan to come forward and the vitriol the 27-year-old faced. They said she had no reason to tell anything other than the truth.
“Why would she lie?” said Assistant District Attorney Alexander Bott. “She was subjected to a flood of hate. Why? For coming forward as a victim of domestic violence? »
Lanez’s attorney alleged in closing argument that the shots were actually fired by Megan’s friend Kelsey Harris in a jealous fight with Lanez, who tried to stop the shooting. The attorney, George Mgdesyan, argued that Megan created a more sympathetic narrative by pinning the shooting on Lanez.
“Megan Pete is a liar. She lied about everything in this case from the start,” Mgdesyan said. “She lied under oath here.”
Harris denied being the shooter and identified Lanez as the one holding the gun. His attorney, in an email, declined to comment on his involvement.
Lanez began releasing mixtapes in 2009 and has seen a steady rise in popularity, moving on to major label albums. His last two reached the Top 10 on the Billboard charts.
Megan Thee Stallion was already a major rising star at the time of filming, and her notoriety has grown since. She won a Best New Artist Grammy in 2021 and had No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 with her own song “Savage,” featuring Beyoncé, and as a guest on Cardi B’s “WAP.” .