Tory Lanez denied new trial in shooting of Megan Thee Stallion

The rapper urged the judge to grant him a new trial, saying, 'Your honor, please don't ruin my life.'

ByDeena Zaru ABCNews logo
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Tory Lanez denied new trial in Megan Thee Stallion shooting
A judge has denied rapper Tory Lanez a new trial. Lanez was convicted of three felonies in December for shooting hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion and wounding her.

LOS ANGELES -- A Los Angeles judge on Tuesday denied Tory Lanez's request for a new trial, a ruling that follows the rapper's felony assault conviction from December 2022 in the shooting of fellow hip-hop star Megan Thee Stallion, according to ABC news station in Los Angeles, KABC, which had a reporter in the courtroom.

A sentencing date has not been set, but Judge David Herriford of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County in California indicated during a hearing on April 17 that Lanez would be sentenced within 30 days of the decision on the motion for a new trial.

The decision came one day after a hearing in which Lanez's attorney argued for a new trial. As the five-hour hearing wrapped up, the rapper urged the judge to grant him a new trial, saying, "Your honor, please don't ruin my life," as he was escorted out of the courtroom, according to KABC.

ABC News has reached out to Lanez's defense team for comment.

Lanez's attorneys, Jose Baez and Matthew Barhoma, filed a motion for a new trial in March, arguing in part that certain evidence presented at trial and some statements made by witnesses on the stand were prejudicial to their client, including an Instagram post where Lanez's verified account commented on the case and a photo of Lanez's gun tattoo. The motion, which was obtained by ABC News, also takes issue with the forensic testing and claims that Lanez's right to counsel of his choice was violated.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office, which is prosecuting this case, filed a motion on April 6 asking the judge to deny the defense's request for a new trial. Prosecutors argued against the motion for a new trial during the hearing on Monday.

"We have full faith and confidence in our trial team and are pleased with the court's ruling in the matter," the district attorney's office said in a statement following the judge's ruling.

Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, was convicted on Dec. 23, 2022, for shooting and injuring Megan Thee Stallion, whose legal name is Megan Pete, in an incident in the Hollywood Hills on July 12, 2020. The rapper is facing up to 22 years and 8 months in prison.

He was initially set to be sentenced in January, but the sentencing has been delayed several times after he obtained new attorneys.

Lanez was found guilty by a jury on all three felony counts filed against him - assault with a semi-automatic firearm (personal use of a firearm), carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle and discharging a firearm with gross negligence.

Lanez, who chose not to take the witness stand, pleaded not guilty during the trial and his defense team argued that he was not the shooter.

This case sparked intense debates over society's treatment of women, and 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.

Pete, who testified during the trial and named Lanez as her shooter, broke her silence on the shooting following the trial 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."

ABC News' Abigail Shalawylo contributed to this report.