Tory Lanez, a singer and rapper, has been found guilty of assaulting Megan Thee Stallion. On December 23, the Los Angeles courtroom convicted Tory Lanez of all charges.
These charges result from a dispute on July 12, 2020, after the rappers quit a pool party at Kylie Jenner’s Los Angeles house. Daystar Peterson, real name Lanez, was charged with three felonies.
Peterson, 30, was accused of shooting Megan Thee Stallion (real name Megan Pete) in the feet. The attack occurred after an argument in a vehicle. The party had spilled onto the street at 4 a.m.
After hearing the arguments of both the defense and prosecution in this high-profile trial that lasted for over two weeks and came up against the Christmas holiday weekend, a jury of seven women and five men deliberated in Los Angeles Superior Court for two days.
The jury and public members witnessed emotional testimony by the victim, unexpected twists, and varying interpretations of hard evidence during the two weeks of expert and witness statements.
Megan Pete was the first to be charged. She gave her account of the attack, pointing out Peterson as the shooter. The Houston rapper spoke about how the assault and the proceedings had impacted her life and career over the past two and a quarter years. Pete talked about being doubted, ostracized, and ridiculed by the “big, boy’s club” music industry and threatened online.
“I cannot hold long-lasting conversations with people. I don’t want to live on this planet. “I wish he would just shoot and kill me if he knew that I would have to endure this torture,” Pete, 27, said through tears to the jury.
After Pete’s statements were finished, Kelsey Harris (the prosecution’s key witness) retracted and delivered a blow to their case. Harris, Pete’s former best friend and assistant, was riding in the car with the rappers that night. Harris’s testimony was highly anticipated as potential evidence for Pete’s account. It would have been a corroboration of Peterson’s account. Harris’s testimony was expected to support the defense’s claim that Harris was the shooter in the incident.
Harris requested immunity under the 5th Amendment to protect herself from self-incrimination when she took the stand on December 14. Harris was offered immunity by the prosecution, meaning that information directly or indirectly derived through the testimony cannot be used against the witness for any criminal case. However, even with this offer, Harris hesitated to answer many of her questions, sometimes even admitting she knew Pete had been killed. Harris repeated that Pete had placed her leg on Harris while they fled the police. She was later photographed in jail with Pete’s blood on her. Harris repeatedly said that her team told her she had stepped on glass and wasn’t aware she was bleeding.
Harris and Pete have not spoken for almost three years since the incident.
Peterson’s defense lawyer George Mgdsesyan asked Harris if Harris had been bribed. This was based on Harris’ extreme hesitancy to testify, which she denied. Mgdsesyan implied that Harris was being coerced and manipulated by the District Attorney’s Office. Alexander Bott and DDA Kathy Ta made the motion to have Kelsey’s September 2022 interview recorded with them become evidence. This would allow the jury to hear her complete recount and show that there was no coercion.
The defendant was retorted by Harris’s recording testimony. Harris claimed that Peterson offered Harris $1 million to each woman to silence about the incident. Harris answered Mgdesyan’s question in open court, “No, and that is something I would like to clarify.”
Although the mystery factors that caused large discrepancies in Harris’ recorded interview from her live testimony were not answered, Harris appeared to be emotionally upset when she spoke about the breaking up of her friendship with Pete after the shooting.
The prosecution used DNA and gunshot residue experts to prove the facts. However, the majority of the evidence in the case did not support the allegations. Kelsey Harris as well as Tory Lanez both had GSR. Although Tory’s DNA wasn’t found in the magazine of the firearm’s magazine, it was discovered in the firearm’s DNA. However, the DNA results from the defendant were not conclusive.
Megan Pete was killed. This was a fact that was unambiguous. Megan was shot by a bullet fragment in her feet. The Cedar Sinai Hospital orthopedic surgeon who performed the surgery confirmed that Megan had been injured and that the fragments were still present in Megan’s heels today.
Another testimonial twist was that when the defense tried to prove that Kelsey Harris was the assailant, they were able to partially discredit a previous statement. Sean Kelly, a 911 caller, claimed to have seen the fight from his bedroom window. He also said that he saw “two girls fighting” and that a muzzle flash came closer to a woman. However, he also stated that he saw Peterson holding his arms outstretched, firing violently, and threatening both women. Kelly said that they were all fighting and that they all struggled constantly.
With its high-profile parties and bizarre circumstances, this trial has been the focus of a heated debate. Independent blogs have misinterpreted the evidence, and unsubstantiated claims that a verdict would be rendered early have distorted the facts. The trial took two years to complete. There has been much disagreement within hip-hop about Pete’s belief that he was a victim. This has also led to normalized mistreatment and false accusations against Black men. People v. Daystar Peterson is a shining example of the misogyny that runs through society.
Peterson could spend up to 22 years of prison time for the felony convictions. Peterson’s legal team will be able to appeal the decision.