Tory Lanez Is Expected to Be Sentenced for Shooting Megan Thee Stallion

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Canadian rapper and singer Tory Lanez is set to be sentenced on Monday for shooting fellow artist Megan Thee Stallion in the feet during an argument in the summer of 2020. The details of the assault unfolded gradually through social media and evolving law enforcement accounts, sparking a lengthy legal battle and igniting discussions about the treatment of Black women in the music industry and beyond.

Prosecutors are seeking a 13-year sentence for Lanez, arguing that he showed no remorse and refused to take responsibility for his actions. They highlighted his efforts to spread misinformation to his large following in an attempt to galvanize public support against the victim and the prosecution team, causing further harm. According to prosecutors, Lanez’s actions have had a lasting traumatic impact on Megan Thee Stallion.

In December, Lanez was found guilty of assault with a semiautomatic handgun, carrying a loaded unregistered firearm in a vehicle, and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. He could face a maximum sentence of 22 years and eight months in prison, as well as potential deportation to Canada.

Lanez’s defense team had filed a motion for a new trial, claiming that certain Instagram posts and a tattoo shown in court were prejudicial evidence. However, the judge denied their request in May, stating that the defense failed to present any substantial errors in the trial court. Lanez pleaded with the judge, asking not to ruin his life and drawing attention to the fact that he could be someone’s son or brother.

Prior to the trial, Lanez and Megan Thee Stallion had engaged in a year-long exchange of insults in songs and online. Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez fired at her multiple times after she left a vehicle following a pool party at Kylie Jenner’s residence. A drunken argument about relationships and careers had erupted between Megan, Lanez, and another friend, Kelsey Harris.

Initially, Megan Thee Stallion had told responding officers that she had stepped on glass, partly due to her fear of the consequences of “snitching” on Lanez. However, after Lanez was initially charged only with weapons possession, she identified him as her assailant on Instagram. Megan also claimed that Lanez offered her and Harris a million dollars each to stay silent about the shooting.

During the trial, Harris declined to identify Lanez as the gunman, despite earlier text messages and an interview with detectives where she corroborated Megan Thee Stallion’s account. The defense suggested that Harris may have shot Megan out of jealousy.

Lanez’s sentencing, initially scheduled for January, was postponed multiple times as he hired new lawyers and sought a new trial. His defense team argued that the jury may have been influenced by a shirtless photo of Lanez showing a tattoo of a firearm, portraying him as a “gun-wielding career criminal.” They also claimed that the potential use of Lanez’s lyrics against him had violated his right to testify.

The sentencing hearing on Monday will determine the consequences Lanez will face for his actions. The case has provoked important discussions about the treatment of Black women in the music industry and has highlighted the need for accountability for violent acts.

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