Canadian hip-hop artist Tory Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the shooting of fellow artist Megan Thee Stallion during an alcohol-fueled argument in the Hollywood Hills in 2020.
The sentencing comes after a dramatic trial in which Lanez was convicted of assault with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, and negligent discharge of a gun last December. The trial featured emotional testimony from Megan Thee Stallion and a key witness who requested immunity but then declined to cooperate with prosecutors on the stand.
Facing a potential maximum sentence of 22 years and 8 months, Lanez addressed the court on Tuesday for the first time since his arrest. He spoke about his religious upbringing and his history of charitable works, requesting leniency for what he called a “wildly out of character moment.” While Lanez did not admit to the shooting, he expressed remorse for the heated argument and insults that preceded it. He stated, “I’m asking for redemption. I’m asking for another chance.”
However, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge David Herriford seemed to weigh Lanez’s actions more heavily than his good deeds. Judge Herriford stated, “Unfortunately, sometimes good people do bad things… Mr. Peterson’s actions in those few seconds changed many lives.”
Lanez’s defense team had sought probation, arguing that his alcoholism played a role in the shooting. Lanez’s lawyers pointed to the impact of his mother’s death during his childhood, which led to his struggles with alcohol abuse.
After the sentencing, Lanez’s new defense attorney, Jose Baez, expressed disappointment and announced plans for an appeal. Baez, known for his successful defense of Casey Anthony in a high-profile trial, argued that Lanez was at low risk of reoffending if he remained sober.
Throughout the trial, several witnesses testified to Lanez’s history of charity work and religious beliefs. However, Judge Herriford questioned why Lanez’s alleged alcoholism was absent from the 76 letters of support submitted on his behalf and from the testimony of character witnesses.
Lanez was convicted of sentencing enhancements related to the use of a firearm in a violent crime and causing “great bodily injury” to Megan Thee Stallion, which made him ineligible for probation under California law. One of the enhancements was thrown out by Judge Herriford due to a change in California law.
The shooting occurred after Megan Thee Stallion left a party at Kylie Jenner’s home in an SUV with Lanez, his driver, and her then-close friend Kelsey Harris. An argument erupted after Lanez revealed his romantic involvement with Harris, leading to a demand from Megan Thee Stallion to be let out of the vehicle on Nichols Canyon Road.
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