LOS ANGELES (CNS) – At the request of his defense team, sentencing was delayed Tuesday for rapper Tory Lanez, who was convicted of shooting hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion in the feet in the Hollywood Hills nearly three years ago.
Superior Court Judge David Herriford reset sentencing for Aug. 7 for the 30-year-old Canadian rap star, whose real name is Daystar Peterson.
Prosecutors are asking that the rapper be sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Defense attorneys asked for the postponement to give them additional time to file a sentencing memorandum.
During a contentious hearing last month, the judge rejected the defense’s bid for a new trial. One of the rapper’s new attorneys, Jose Baez, called Lanez’s defense during the trial “a jumbled, bungled mess,” and said Lanez’s trial attorney, George Mgdesyan, “did not have enough time to prepare for trial and ultimately failed” his client.
“The court finds no error, prosecutorial misconduct or newly discovered evidence,” Herriford said. “Motion denied.”
Lanez was convicted last Dec. 23 of one felony count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, having a loaded unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.
“Today I take a stance as an innocent Black man, wrongfully convicted of a crime I did not commit,” Lanez said in an Instagram post in April that was addressed to Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
In an audio recording that accompanied the Instagram post, Lanez alleged that he was “completely robbed and deprived of a fair trial” and that he watched prosecutors “unlawfully misuse their authority to hide and suppress any and all exculpatory evidence that exonerates me and furthers my innocence.”
“… So, Mr. Gascón, I come to you today as a wrongfully convicted Black man, not asking for sympathy, nor compassion, but for you to simply do what is fair and right in the laws of California, and most importantly in the eyes of God,” he said in the recording, in which he cited the steps that Gascón has taken “in regards to fighting for the justice of Black and Brown minorities.”
Lanez has remained behind bars since he was ordered to be taken into custody shortly after the jury’s verdict was read.
Jurors deliberated about seven hours before finding him guilty of the three felony counts.
During the trial, Megan Thee Stallion testified that Lanez told her to “dance, bitch,” and shot her in the feet during a July 12, 2020, argument following a get-together at Kylie Jenner’s home. She said she had no doubt that Lanez fired the shots, and that he later offered her $1 million not to say anything.
Under cross-examination, the Grammy Award-winning singer – whose real name is Megan Pete – said she initially had no intention of talking about what had happened and “didn’t want to be a snitch,” but felt she had to “defend my name” when she saw that people were “making things up” and suggesting that she hadn’t been shot.
In an essay published on Elle magazine’s website, Megan Thee Stallion wrote, “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,” she wrote.
In a sentencing memorandum filed June 6, Deputy District Attorneys Kathy Ta and Alexander Bott wrote that Lanez “not only lacks remorse,” but is “clearly incapable of accepting any responsibility for his own actions.”
The prosecutors wrote that Lanez “brazenly fired five rounds, emptying his gun, at a vulnerable victim” and that the shooting left Pete “bleeding, injured and traumatized.”
“And since that night, the defendant has waged a campaign to humiliate and re-traumatize the victim through his actions and words,” the prosecutors wrote in their court filing. “His online posts for nearly three years have re-traumatized the victim. His online reach is worldwide (millions of followers plus casual observers) and the defendant’s statements embolden his followers so that they too have been complicit in retraumatizing the victim.”
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