The jury deliberated for one day before finding the 30-year-old Canadian rapper, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, guilty of three felonies in the 2020 shooting.
Tory Lanez Convicted in Megan Thee Stallion’s Shooting
A jury in Los Angeles found rapper Tory Lanez guilty on all three charges in the shooting of hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion on July 12, 2020 in the Hollywood Hills.
The jury deliberated for one day before convicting the 30-year-old Canadian rapper, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, having a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. The counts could lead to up to 22 years in prison.
Pete took the stand last week, testifying that Peterson shot her after the pair left a party at the Hollywood Hills home of Kylie Jenner, a member of the Kardashian clan, and began fighting.
The altercation began, Pete said, as she, her friend Kelsey Harris and Peterson were being driven in Peterson’s SUV, and he revealed to Harris that the two rappers had become romantically involved. Harris had previously been involved with Peterson and became angry, Pete said.
Pete told jurors she demanded to be let out of the vehicle on Nichols Canyon Road. As she walked away, she claimed, Peterson shouted, “Dance, b—!” before firing a volley of gunshots at her, although no other witnesses said they heard Peterson yell. Pete was struck several times in the feet and had to undergo surgery to remove bullet fragments.
“The jury got it right,” said Alex Spiro, Pete’s attorney. “I am thankful there is justice for Meg.”
George Mgdesyan, Peterson’s attorney, said he and his client were shocked at the sweeping verdict. He maintained that prosecutors had many holes in their case and lacked evidence to prove that his client was the shooter.
“Right now, everyone’s a little devastated,” Mgdesyan said. “We thought there was more than reasonable doubt here ... and we were hoping the truth came out.”
As the verdict was read, Peterson, dressed in a white turtleneck and a powder-pink suit, sat slumped in his chair with his chin jutting upward, expressionless. He was disappointed with the outcome, said Mgdesyan — who spoke with his client at a courthouse holding cell following the proceedings — and plans to appeal.
In addition to Pete, Peterson and Harris, Peterson’s bodyguard Jaquan Smith was in the SUV when the gunfire erupted. Smith did not testify, leaving Harris as the witness who had the best view of the incident. But prosecutors have heard two wildly different stories from Harris, Pete’s onetime confidante who fell out with the hit-maker after the shooting.
In court last week, Harris refused to testify until she was granted immunity by prosecutors. On the stand, she deflected questions and asked to invoke her 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Repeatedly chalking up her fuzzy memory to a night of heavy drinking at Jenner’s party, Harris wouldn’t say who shot Pete or answer questions about claims that Peterson offered both women $1 million not to report the incident to police — even though she had sent a text message the night of the altercation that read, “Tory shot Meg.”
The day after Harris left the stand, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Herriford allowed prosecutors to play the entirety of a recorded interview Harris gave to them in September. On the tape, she clearly identifies Peterson as the gunman and gives a play-by-play account of the night of the shooting, telling the story with minimal prompting from prosecutors.