(LOS ANGELES) — Rapper Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday for shooting and injuring hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in July 2020.
Lanez, 31, who was convicted on Dec. 23, 2022 for shooting and injuring the hip-hop star, whose legal name is Megan Pete, was initially set to be sentenced in January but the sentencing has been delayed several times after Lanez obtained new attorneys and filed a motion for a new trial. The request for a new trial was denied in May.
The defense called several witnesses, including members of his family, to testify on the rapper’s behalf during the hearing, which began on Monday and was extended through Tuesday.
Lanez’s father, Sonstar Peterson, issued and emotional appeal to the judge on his son’s behalf, describing the trauma Lanez experienced after his mother died at a young age and how music became his outlet.
Raina Chassagne, the mother of Lanez’s son, said that he is “the most supportive father” and asked the judge to be lenient to help end the generational curse of Black fathers in prison away from their children.
Another witness, Dr. Stephanie Herring, a clinical psychologist at a treatment facility, said that she believes Lanez suffers from PTSD, anxiety and a substance abuse disorder and needs treatment.
Meanwhile, prosecutors on Monday read an impact statement from Pete, who called for Lanez to “be forced to face the full consequences of his heinous actions and face justice.”
“He not only shot me, he made a mockery of my trauma. He tried to position himself as a victim and set out to destroy my character and my soul. He lied to anyone that would listen and paid bloggers to disseminate false information about the case on social media. He released music videos and songs to damage my character and continue his crusade,” Pete’s statement said.
“Today, I beg this court to send a message to every victim of violence and fully hold the defendant accountable for his criminal conduct. This is a statement for all survivors that their lives matter and there is zero tolerance for the torture that accompanies violence,” she added.
Lanez, a Grammy-nominated rapper whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, was convicted on Dec. 23, 2022 and is facing up to 22 years and 8 months in prison.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting this case, filed a motion in May asking the judge to give the rapper a 13-year sentence. Prosecutors also filed a motion on May 23, arguing for a harsher sentence for the rapper. According to the motion, a new California law would by default make the rapper’s sentence come in the “middle term” of the potential 22-year sentence, unless “circumstances in aggravation” were proven.
Prosecutors argued in the filing, obtained by ABC News, that “circumstances of aggravation” are present in this case and cited Lanez’s “callousness.”
Lanez’s attorneys, Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma, did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
Lanez was found guilty of three charges for shooting and injuring Megan in both of her feet in an incident in the Hollywood Hills on July 12, 2020.
The sentencing came after Superior Court of Los Angeles Judge David Herriford last month denied Lanez’s request for a new trial.
Lanez was initially charged in October 2020 with one felony count each of assault with a semi-automatic firearm (personal use of a firearm) and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, according to charging documents obtained by ABC News. “Personal use of a firearm” is not a separate charge but is a sentencing enhancement linked to the first count that could increase the length of Lanez’s sentence. Lanez was also charged ahead of his trial with an additional felony count of discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
Lanez, who chose not to take the witness stand during the trial, pleaded not guilty to all three charges. His defense attorneys argued during the trial that Lanez was not the shooter.
His previous attorney, George Mgdesyan, who represented him at trial, told ABC News then that Lanez was “disappointed” by the verdict. Asked on Dec. 23, 2022 whether he plans to appeal, Mgdesyan said that “everything is on the table.”
This case has sparked intense debates over society’s treatment of women. Pete’s account of the incident — and the intense public vitriol she faced after sharing her story — has spotlighted the Protect Black Women movement, which addresses the two-front battle of sexism and racism Black women experience in their own communities and in society at large.
Following the trial, Pete — who testified during the trial and named Lanez as her shooter — broke her silence about the shooting in an interview for her May 2023 Elle magazine cover story.
“I don’t want to call myself a victim,” she said. “As I reflect on the past three years, 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, 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.”
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