Canadian rapper, Tory Lanez has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting and wounding his ex-lover, hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.
The 31-year-old begged the judge to not send him to jail in an LA courtroom on Tuesday. He shot Megan in the feet during a drunken argument after a pool party at Kylie Jenner’s house in 2020 – that also involved Megan’s assistant Kelsey Harris.
At his sentencing on Tuesday, convicted Canadian musician Lanez said that victim Megan is ‘someone I still care for dearly to this day’ despite the outcome.
Lanez, real name Daystar Peterson, said about the shooting that put him behind bars for a decade: ‘I said some very immature things that I shouldn’t have said.
‘I revealed some secrets I shouldn’t have revealed.’
The sentence brings an end to a dramatic trial that created a cultural firestorm in the hip-hop community.
The rapper, wearing a black skull cap, was handcuffed in his orange prison overalls as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Herriford handed down the sentence.
The judge denied the probation that Lanez’s defense had been asking for. Before being given 10 years, Lanez begged the judge not to send him to jail.
In a 15-minute address, the musician said: ‘Give me some sort of alternative that is not prison. I can be a much better man in my community.
‘I’m not standing before you as a celebrity. I stand her as a genuine person who wants a chance. My child needs me – I want to better myself.
‘I want a chance to show the world that the man you see here today is not the real me.
‘I’m not expecting preferential treatment. But, your honor I’m genuinely asking you with my heart to put me to the test, to give me an opportunity.
‘There have been these misconceptions about me being this monster, of not having remorse. But that’s just not true.
‘That night, everybody was drunk, I said some very immature things…I was wrong. If I could turn back the clock I would….I apologize.
‘Everything I did that night I’m take responsibility for. I ask you for the chance to be a better father, a better mentor. I’m asking you not to judge me just on this case, but on the full scope of my life.
‘I do have a habitual disorder – I want to be a better person.’
Speaking about Megan Thee Stallion, Lanez told the court at his hearing that they bonded over the deaths of their mothers.
He said: ‘We both lost our mothers. We would sit there and drink, and drink until we got numb.’
In making his decision, the judge took into account two ‘aggravating factors’ that had been proven by the prosecution and warranted sentencing enhancements – the fact that Lanez used a gun and that his victim, Megan, was ‘particularly vulnerable or defenseless.’
But Judge Herriford found that prosecutors had not proven a third aggravating factor – that Lanez displayed ‘cruelty, viciousness or callousness’ toward Megan, even though Deputy District Attorney Alex Bott argued that he showed ‘a complete lack of regard for human life’ and ‘with less luck this would be a murder case.’
Lanez’s attorneys maintained that he was not a threat to society and probation, mental health therapy and treatment for alcohol abuse would be a better solution than jail.
And, they said, if probation wasn’t acceptable, then his jail term should be no longer than three years.
But while Judge Herriford said he had taken into account Lanez’s ‘multiple philanthropic endeavors,’ and his previous clean record, he rejected the defense arguments Tuesday.
The judge told the court that he had difficulty reconciling the ‘philanthropic and talented’ persona of Lanez with the man convicted of gun violence.
‘Sometimes good people do bad things,’ the judge said.
He dismissed the defense’s assertion that Lanez mental condition due to childhood trauma was partly to blame for the shooting.
While alcohol was involved, that night, said Judge Herriford: ‘It’s clear that the (shooting) incident occurred as the result of an argument – I don’t see a nexus in a mental disorder and the offense.’
Earlier Tuesday, defense attorney Matthew Barhoma blasted prosecutors for the ‘disparity of seeking a 13-year sentence,’ which, he added, ‘is quite a deviation from the LA DA’s own sentencing policy’.
‘This disparity is being sought out, just because he’s Tory Lanez. The fact that he’s Tory Lanez is not a reason to seek enhancements of sentence. The prosecutor is reaching.’
He argued that his client had not been involved in any prior violent acts and that the DA’s request for the sentence to be enhanced from 10 to 13 years ‘should be dismissed’ because the shooting was related to Lanez’ mental illness over his childhood trauma, and his alcohol abuse.
But the DA Bott countered: ‘This case has nothing to do with mental illness’ and said that Lanez shot Megan because she insulted his musical prowess during their drunken argument. ‘This violent shooting was over his bruised ego.’
The prosecution was seeking enhanced sentencing, said Bott, because the shooting involved ‘great bodily injury’ to Megan.
‘He fired the gun five times, striking the victim two times – he could have killed her.’
Bott’s co-prosecutor, DDA Kathy Ta added that they were seeking the enhanced sentence because of Lanez’ ‘threat to life and callousness, his lack of accountability…his brazen disregard for the court and the victim’s safety …and his conduct toward the victim afterward.’
Asked by the judge why prosecutors were asking for 13 years jail rather than 10, Ta said that anything less ‘would endanger public safety.’
Defense attorney Ed Welbourn recalled clinical psychologist Dr. Stephanie Herring to the stand to talk about Lanez’ alcohol abuse and she said that Tory had told her he would drink ‘up to a fifth of Petron tequila per night…to numb out.’
‘Is there a nexus between his all alcoholism and the shooting?’ asked Welbourn. ‘Absolutely,’ responded Dr. Herring.
But DDA Bott hit back saying,’There is not a single document showing he’s ever had treatment…for alcoholism. We have no verification of this.
‘This is just a strategy. Once again, (Lanez) is doing anything and everything to avoid being held accountable.’
Lanez’ defense team spent several hours during Monday and Tuesday calling witnesses who sang his clients’ praises and recounting his many acts of kindness and charity.
And after he showed several videos Tuesday showing Lanez’ philanthropic activities, DDA Bott scoffed: ‘I felt like I was here for a ‘Man of the Year’ award.
‘It doesn’t take much to give to charity when you are a man of great wealth….
‘We are here today because of a heinous act of violence on a defenseless woman. then he put her through hell for two years.
‘These are the actions of not a good, courageous person but a misogynist and a coward.
‘He asks the court for mercy. But where was the mercy for Megan?’
On the last day of Lanez’s 10-day trial on December 23 last year, the jury of seven women and five men unanimously convicted the rapper of three felonies.
He was found guilty of assault with a semi-automatic firearm, shooting a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle.
The assault carried a penalty of up to nine years in jail, the conviction for negligently shooting a gun up to three years and the concealed gun count three years.