Tory Lanez Sentenced To 10 Years For Shooting Megan Thee Stallion

[BBC] Canadian rapper Tory Lanez has been sentenced to 10 years for the shooting of fellow musician Megan Thee Stallion.

Lanez shot Grammy winner Megan Thee Stallion in the feet during an argument between the pair after a party in 2020.

He was found guilty on three gun-related charges in December and has been held in jail since.

The shooting left Megan Thee Stallion needing surgery to remove bullet fragments from her foot.

The LA District Attorney said after the verdict that the fact that she is famous helped bring attention to the issue of violence against women.

“The fact that she is a successful entertainer has brought an important spotlight on the issue of violence against women,” said prosecutor George Gascón.

The shooting occurred during the journey home from a pool party hosted by reality star Kylie Jenner.

Prosecutors had asked the judge to impose a 13-year prison sentence. They said Lanez deserved a lengthy sentence for shooting a “vulnerable victim” on a quiet residential street, and for waging “a campaign to humiliate and re-traumatise her” after the attack.

Director of Victim Services at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Tanishia Wright, told reporters after the sentencing hearing: “Violence against black women and girls is a long standing national epidemic that has long been overlooked and under-reported.”

“Women of colour more times than not do not come forward to report victimisation due to the fear they will not be believed,” she continued.

Lanez, real name Daystar Peterson, has had seven US top 10 albums in the past seven years.

He was convicted of three felonies last December: assault with a semi-automatic firearm; having a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle; and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. The 31-year-old has been in custody since being found guilty.

His lawyers argued he should get probation and time in a drug treatment programme. It is unclear if Lanez is now facing deportation to Canada.

His lawyer, Jose Baez, said his client plans to appeal the sentence due to “significant issues” with the trial.

Outside court on Tuesday, he cited a lack of DNA evidence against Lanez in relation to the shooting, adding that the rapper’s DNA was not found on the gun used.

Baez added that he believes Lanez did not receive a fair trial.

In a victim impact statement read in court on Monday, Megan, a triple Grammy winner, said she will “never be the same” after the attack.

“Since I was viciously shot by the defendant, I have not experienced a single day of peace,” the statement said, according to US media.

“Slowly but surely, I’m healing and coming back, but I will never be the same.”

Other witnesses who spoke on Monday included Lanez’s father, who talked emotionally about the effect on his son of the death of his mother when he was 11, and a prison chaplain who said Lanez had been leading daily prayer groups.

The judge said he had received more than 70 letters in support of Lanez from his family and friends, including rapper Iggy Azalea, who called for a sentence that would be “transformative, not life-destroying”.

The shooting happened when the pair left Jenner’s home with his bodyguard and her friend and assistant Kelsey Harris in an SUV in the early hours of 12 July 2020.

Megan, real name Megan Pete, told the court she got into an argument with Lanez over their previous sexual relationship. The row escalated and led to the pair insulting each other’s careers.

She said she demanded to be let out of the vehicle, at which point Lanez started shooting at the ground and shouted at her to “dance”.

Lanez has maintained his innocence, with his lawyers suggesting Ms Harris may have shot her friend after discovering the relationship because she had a “crush” on him and was jealous.

Ms Harris denied that. However, on the witness stand she backtracked on previous statements that Lanez was the shooter, instead telling the trial she did not see who shot Megan.

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