Tory Lanez sentencing: Megan Thee Stallion recalls ‘heinous’ shooting

Prosecutors have asked a judge to sentence Canadian rapper Tory Lanez to 13 years in prison, after he was convicted of shooting hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in the feet in 2020. The sentencing hearing is set to continue Tuesday.

Megan called for a stiff sentence for Lanez in a written statement read aloud during a hearing at Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

“Since I was viciously shot by the defendant, I have not experienced a single day of peace,” said Megan, whose legal name is Megan Pete.

Her statement cited emotional suffering caused by his “heinous” actions after the shooting, including writing social media posts that led people to attack her online.

Megan said she considered speaking in person but “simply could not bring myself to be in a room with Tory again.”

Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, was found guilty of three felonies, including assault with a semiautomatic firearm, having a loaded and unregistered firearm in a vehicle, and discharging a firearm with gross negligence, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón told The Washington Post last year.

He was originally set to be sentenced in January. But sentencing was delayed after he obtained new attorneys and filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied in May. He faced a maximum sentence of 22 years and eight months, as well as deportation to his home country of Canada.

Lanez’s lawyers had asked the court to sentence him to probation instead of a lengthy prison term.

In a 41-page memo filed last week, Lanez’s lawyers argued that he would also benefit from a residential drug treatment program.

“Assuming the allegations are true, Mr. Peterson’s psychological, physical and childhood trauma were a factor in the commission of the offense,” read the memo, portions of which were shared by Meghann Cuniff, a journalist who has been following the case.

Lanez’s father, Sonstar Peterson, told the judge on Monday that his youngest child was 11 when his mother died, calling it a trauma that “I don’t think anybody ever gets over.”

Judge David Herriford received 76 letters, including a handwritten one from Lanez’s 6-year-old son, according to Cuniff. The mother of his son, Raina Cassagne, called Lanez “the most supportive” and “the funnest father.”

In a letter to the judge, rapper Iggy Azalea pleaded for a “transformative, not life-destroying” sentence for her fellow artist. Other witnesses, including a police chief in Missouri and a state representative, mentioned Lanez’s charitable giving.

In her statement, Megan said Lanez “has blamed the system, blamed the press, and as of late has tried to take advantage of his childhood trauma.”

Herriford said Lanez had a clear lack of remorse, but the judge added that he wouldn’t allow that to be a factor because the defendant has a right to maintain his innocence, the Associated Press reported.

Representatives for Lanez and Megan did not respond to requests for comment Monday morning.

The shooting happened in the early hours of July 12, 2020, after the two shared a ride to leave a party hosted at the Hollywood Hills home of reality star Kylie Jenner. According to testimony, Lanez fired several shots at Megan after she exited the vehicle following a fight.

The incident drew widespread attention and scrutiny.

Three days later, Megan disclosed on Instagram that she had suffered gunshot wounds “as a result of a crime that was committed against me and done with the intention to physically harm me.” She was shot in both feet, requiring surgery.

Megan did not name her assailant until September during an Instagram Live video, after rumors started circulating that it was Lanez who shot her.

“Yes … Tory shot me. You shot me and you got your publicist and your people going to these blogs lying,” Megan said. “I didn’t tell the police nothing because I didn’t want us to get in no more trouble.”

During the trial, she testified that she and Lanez had, at times, a sexual relationship and had grown closer after they both lost their mothers, the Los Angeles Times reported. The two began arguing at Jenner’s party, where Lanez accused Megan of lying about their relationship to her friend Kelsey Harris.

The shooting and trial birthed conspiracy theories, dividing social media and the hip-hop industry. A number of prominent rappers opined on the case. Some, including Drake and 50 Cent, suggested that Megan, a popular artist and frequent musical collaborator, lied about the shooting.

Others claimed the hip-hop star had injured herself stepping on broken glass. (Lanez’s legal team never denied that Megan was shot but alleged during the trial that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove Lanez did it.)

During the trial, Megan told jurors, “I wish he would have just shot and killed me if I knew I was going to have to go through this torture.” Her treatment inspired discourse across media, hip-hop and feminist circles about the way Black female survivors are treated by the legal system, the media and the male-dominated world of rap music.

In April, Elle magazine published an essay by Megan in which the rapper said, “I view myself as a survivor, because I have truly survived the unimaginable.”

“Not only did I survive being shot by someone I trusted and considered a close friend,” she said, “but I overcame the public humiliation of having my name and reputation dragged through the mud by that individual for the entire world to see.”

Earlier this year, Lanez insisted in an Instagram post that he was “wrongfully convicted” of the crime and “was completely robbed and deprived of a fair trial.”

Both Lanez and Megan have had notable careers, though in different eras.

The Canadian rapper has released a slew of mixtapes since 2009 and had a few minor hits, including “LUV,” which peaked at No. 19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2016 and earned a Grammy nomination for best R&B song. He was featured on a remix version of Jack Harlow’s “Whats Poppin,” which reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.

Megan Thee Stallion won three Grammys in 2021, including best new artist, as well as best rap performance and best rap song for her hit song “Savage.” Both “Savage” and “WAP” (in which she features alongside Cardi B) hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

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